Dunleavy, Begich meet in Fairbanks

    Fairbanks, Alaska (KINY) - Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunleavy met with Democratic challenger Mark Begich on Wednesday.

    Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunleavy met with Democratic challenger Mark Begich on Wednesday in Fairbanks. The debate marked the second time the two have met since Gov. Bill Walker, an Independent, suspended his re-election campaign earlier this month.

    During the debate, which was sponsored by the Alaska Chamber of Commerce, there was a spirited discussion regarding Permanent Fund Dividends.

    In his remarks, Dunleavy said the citizens of the state need to be involved in future PFD discussions, while Begich said that his views on the PFD differ significantly from that of his opponent. Begich advocated for a 4 percent rate of return, rather than a 5.25 percent rate, which he called a, "more reasonable amount."

    On the topic of the economy, Dunleavy said the state has to pay its bills and present a stable environment for business development in the future to remain competitive.

    "We can't be an uncertain environment in Alaska ... or folks are not going to want to invest here," Dunleavy said.

    Begich said he believes that Alaska's economy is a state rooted in the oil and gas industry.

    Both candidates spoke about the Alaska LNG project, with Begich coming out as a strong voice for the proposed wellhead and Dunleavy raising a number of questions about the project.

    Near the end of the debate both candidates faced yes-or-no questions on a variety of topics, with both saying they do not favor increased taxes on fuels, mining, or the oil and fishing industries.

    More from News of the North

    Current Conditions

    Crude Oil Price