State Republican Party convention gets underway

Sharon Day, Republican National Committee Co-Chair, on KTOO's Juneau Afternoon. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Sharon Day, Republican National Committee Co-Chair, on KTOO’s Juneau Afternoon. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

As some Tea Party conservatives boycott the Alaska Republican Party’s biennial convention, a national party co-chair says the party is  more united than divided.

The convention got underway Thursday in Juneau. Republican National Committee Co-Chair Sharon Day kicked it off with the keynote address.

In an interview earlier in the day, she said there’s not much difference between Tea Party and other Republicans.

“You just have to continue to sort of pull them together. You know it’s not us or them, but at the end of the day if we don’t win, we don’t govern,” Day said. “If you are looking for 100 percent party or 100 percent candidate that agrees with you 100 percent of the time, you better look in the mirror and then you better run for office because it’s the only time in your life that you will have a candidate that agrees with you 100 percent of the time.”

Day acknowledged national party committee members seldom come to Alaska, but they are here to help Republican candidates for U.S. Senate.

“We’re united standing with our Republicans here in Alaska,” she said. “We have their back, we’re in the trenches with them.”

Three candidates are vying for the Republican nomination to run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich:  Tea Party favorite Joe Miller, former state Attorney General and Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan, and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.

They square off in a candidate forum on Friday at 7:30 a.m.  On Saturday, state Republicans are hosting a forum for lieutenant governor candidates –  state Sen. Lesil McGuire, of Anchorage, and Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan –  also at 7:30 a.m. The state Republican Convention is being held at Centennial Hall.

Alaska’s primary election is Aug. 19.