Independent candidate Evan Eads is suspending his campaign for the Alaska Senate and endorsing fellow independent Marna Sanford in the race to replace longtime state Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole.
Coghill was defeated by Robert Myers in August’s Republican primary election, and the race to replace him has become one of the most watched in the state. While it is too late to remove Eads’ name from the ballot, his decision will boost Sanford, who is backed by Democrats hoping to flip what has been a reliably Republican district.
Coghill said he is not endorsing either remaining candidate but believes Sanford is the favorite to win.
“I think it’s hers to lose,” he said.
Eads publicly announced his decision during a Friday-night forum hosted by the League of Women Voters.
“I know this is late in the game to do it, and there are parts of my ego that resist doing it, but I nevertheless believe it is the right thing to do,” Eads said Friday afternoon, before the announcement.
Sanford said she was “honored and humbled” by the decision.
An independent businessman, Eads raised $31,740 in a mostly self-funded campaign for Senate. Despite that effort, he was considered to be running behind both Sanford and Myers.
“I would say that my path forward was very narrow and narrowing,” he said Friday afternoon.
During his campaign, Eads said the state needed to take a greater share of the wealth generated by its natural resources, including mining, fisheries and oil. He intends to campaign for Ballot Measure 1, which would raise taxes on some North Slope oilfields.