Rivals question Sullivan’s absence from debate

Joe Miller shakes hands with Mead Treadwell after Alaska Public Media’s statewide debate Wednesday night. Miller and Treadwell are vying for the GOP US Senate nomination. The third major candidate, Dan Sullivan, did not take part. (Photo by Patrick Yack/Alaska Public Media)

Joe Miller shakes hands with Mead Treadwell after Alaska Public Media’s statewide debate Wednesday night. Miller and Treadwell are vying for the GOP US Senate nomination. The third major candidate, Dan Sullivan, did not take part. (Photo by Patrick Yack/Alaska Public Media)

Republican Senate candidates Joe Miller and Mead Treadwell debated each other and an empty chair on Wednesday at Alaska Public Media’s Debate for the State.

Miller and Treadwell each said they believed that the science was “inconclusive” on man-made climate change, and that they would oppose an increase in the federal gasoline tax. They emphasized their aversion to gun control measures. Miller also reiterated that he supports impeaching President Barack Obama, echoing a call former Gov. Sarah Palin made last month.

Beyond the issues, they occasionally referenced that their fellow opponent Dan Sullivan’s absence at the debate.

“Dan Sullivan’s not here,” said Treadwell. “He missed a fisheries debate. He’s not here for the last debate that’s reaching the whole state, and I think it’s very important that you understand the needs of the entire state.”

After the debate, Treadwell suggested that Sullivan was “fatigued” from campaigning.

In a statement, the Sullivan campaign explained that the candidate was door-knocking in Eagle River and Anchorage in lieu of attending the debate. The campaign noted that Sullivan was participating in a dozen candidate forums and debates in the lead up to Tuesday’s primary, but would not offer comment on further questions.