Dan Sullivan (U.S. senator)
|United States Senator|
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2015
Serving with Lisa Murkowski
|Preceded by||Mark Begich|
|Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources|
December 6, 2010 – September 24, 2013
|Preceded by||Thomas E. Irwin|
|Succeeded by||Joseph Balash|
|27th Attorney General of Alaska|
June 17, 2009 – November 30, 2010
|Preceded by||Talis J. Colberg|
|Succeeded by||John J. Burns|
|Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs|
June 6, 2006 – January 1, 2009
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Earl Anthony Wayne|
|Succeeded by||Jose W. Fernandez|
Daniel Scott Sullivan
November 13, 1964
Fairview Park, Ohio, U.S.
|Relations||Hugh Fate (father-in-law), Mary Jane Fate (mother-in-law)|
|Education||Harvard University (AB)|
Georgetown University (MS, JD)
|Branch/service||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1993–1997 (Active)|
|Unit||United States Marine Corps Reserve|
|Commands||6th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company|
|Battles/wars||War in Afghanistan|
|Awards||Defense Meritorious Service Medal|
Sullivan was in active duty for the United States Marine Corps from 1993 to 1997, 2004 to 2006, and in 2009 and 2013. Between 1997 and 1999, he clerked for judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Alaska Supreme Court. After working as an attorney in private practice in Anchorage, Alaska from 2000 to 2002, Sullivan moved to Maryland to work for the Bush administration; he worked with the National Economic Council and the National Security Council and later served as Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs. He was Alaska Attorney General from 2009 to 2010 and Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources from 2010 to 2013.
Sullivan ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democratic incumbent Mark Begich. In August 2014, he won the Republican primary, defeating Alaska Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell and 2010 Senate nominee Joe Miller. Sullivan defeated Begich in the general election, 47.96% to 45.83%, a margin of 6,014 votes out of 282,400 cast. He was reelected in 2020, defeating independent challenger Al Gross by about 13 percentage points.
Early life and education
Sullivan was born and raised in Fairview Park, Ohio, the son of Sandra (née Simmons) and Thomas C. Sullivan, now the president and CEO of RPM International, a holding company founded by his father, Frank C. Sullivan. He graduated from Culver Military Academy in Indiana in 1983. In 1987, Sullivan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in economics. In 1993, he earned joint J.D. and M.S.F.S. degrees cum laude from Georgetown University. He was a member of the Georgetown Law Journal and interned for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Sullivan has served in the United States Marine Corps since 1993, both on active duty and in the reserves. Sullivan, who has spent several years with a reconnaissance battalion based in Anchorage, initially left active duty in 1997 when he first moved to Alaska, but has since been recalled to active duty three times: from 2004 to 2006, again in early 2009, and for a six-week tour in Afghanistan in July 2013. In 2011 he was recommended for promotion to lieutenant colonel by then-retired General John Abizaid, a board member of the Sullivan family-based RPM International corporation since 2008. Sullivan is now a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He is a recipient of the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
Early legal career
Sullivan served as a judicial law clerk for Judge Andrew Kleinfeld of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Fairbanks from 1997 to 1998. He then clerked for Chief Justice Warren Matthews of the Alaska Supreme Court in Anchorage in 1998–99. In 2000, Sullivan joined the Anchorage office of the Perkins Coie law firm, focusing on commercial law and corporate law. He joined the Alaska bar that same year.
White House and State Department
In 2002, Sullivan he headed the International Economics Directorate of the National Economic Council and National Security Council staffs at the White House. He advised President George W. Bush and the National Security Advisor and NEC chairman. He left the White House in 2004.
In 2006, Bush appointed Sullivan United States Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs. The United States Senate unanimously confirmed Sullivan in May of that year. He served in this capacity until January 2009. While serving as Assistant Secretary of State he owned a house in Anchorage and continued to vote in Alaska elections by absentee ballot, while claiming Bethesda, Maryland, as his primary residence for tax purposes.
Alaska Attorney General
Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg resigned in February 2009 over the Alaska Public Safety Commissioner dismissal scandal. Governor Sarah Palin nominated Wayne Anthony Ross for attorney general, but the Alaska Legislature rejected Ross. Palin then nominated Sullivan. He was sworn into office in June 2009, while the Alaska Legislature was out of session. The Alaska Legislature unanimously confirmed Sullivan's appointment on April 9, 2010. Sullivan, who had been retained by Governor Sean Parnell, stepped down as attorney general on December 5, 2010, to be replaced by John J. Burns.
Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Alaska
On November 18, 2010, shortly after being elected, Alaska Governor Sean Parnell appointed Sullivan Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, replacing former Commissioner Thomas E. Irwin. In 2013, during his term in office, Sullivan was deployed to Afghanistan for six weeks, in his role as the executive officer of the 4th Marine Division's Anti-Terrorism Battalion.
United States Senate
On June 10, 2014, Sullivan offered Begich the Alaska Agreement. This was a modified version of the People's Pledge. This tactic had previously been used in the Massachusetts 2012 U.S. Senate race between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown to drastically limit outside, third-party spending. Begich rejected the agreement. According to Ballotpedia, outside spending in the race hit nearly $40 million.
On November 12, 2014, the Associated Press and CNN declared that Sullivan had defeated Begich in the general election by about 8,000 votes—48.6 to 45.4 percent. At the time, there were approximately 31,000 votes left to count and Begich refused to concede. Begich conceded on November 17. Final results showed that Sullivan defeated Begich 47.96% to 45.83%, a margin of 6,014 votes out of 282,400 cast.
In the 2020 election, after running unopposed in the Republican primary election, Sullivan faced independent candidate Al Gross, an orthopedic surgeon and former commercial fisherman who had been nominated by the Alaska Democratic Party. The race was considered "unexpectedly close," with some polls indicating that the two candidates were neck-and-neck. Gross touted his "deep roots" in the state and published several campaign videos that received national attention. In addition to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's funding of Gross's candidacy, Gross reportedly did "an excellent job fundraising", outraising Sullivan between July 1 and the end of September of 2019.
While the race was considered "too early to call" for several days after the November 3 election, Gross called Sullivan to concede on November 13. Ultimately, Sullivan defeated Gross 54% to 41%, with Alaskan Independence Party nominee John Howe receiving nearly 5% of the vote.
- Committee on Armed Services
- Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
- Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security
- Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet
- Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard
- Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness
- Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security
- Committee on Environment and Public Works
- Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Sullivan opposed Trump during the 2016 presidential race, releasing a statement that said, "We need national leaders who can lead by example" on issues of sexual assault and violence against women. Sullivan added, "The reprehensible revelations about Donald Trump have shown that he can't. Therefore, I am withdrawing my support for his candidacy."
By October 6, 2020, Sullivan announced that he would be voting for Trump, saying the choice was "very clear."
Sullivan rejects that there is a scientific consensus on climate change. He has argued that "the verdict is still out on the human contribution to climate change"; the scientific consensus is that human activity is a primary contributor to climate change.
In October 2020, the Environmental Investigation Agency recorded and published conversations between undercover actors, who pretended to be potential investors in Pebble Mine in Alaska, and corporate executives. In these recordings, the corporate executives make clear that they intend to expand the mine far beyond previously stated intentions, and that they believe Sullivan would quietly support this project after the election. In response, Sullivan expressed his opposition to the project. Sullivan has stated that he plans to donate campaign contributions received from Pebble Mine executives to charity.
Sullivan has lobbied the Trump administration to open up the Tongass National Forest in Alaska to logging and other forms of development. In October 2020, the Trump administration permitted such projects, stripping protections that had been in place for nearly two decades.
In July 2017, Sullivan co-sponsored the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (s. 720), which made it a federal crime for Americans to encourage or participate in boycotts against Israel and Israeli settlements in the occupied territories if protesting actions by the Israeli government.
In the 2014 Senate campaign in Alaska, the National Rifle Association (NRA) declined to make an endorsement. The NRA gave Begich an "A-" rating and Sullivan an "A-q" rating, the "q" indicating the rating was qualified because Sullivan had no voting record at the time.
Health care and public health
On November 17, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sullivan did not wear a mask while presiding over the Senate. Senator Sherrod Brown asked him to "please wear a mask as he speaks." Sullivan told Brown he was not taking instructions from Brown and later called Brown a "far-left senator." Senator Ted Cruz called Brown an "ass" for making the request and suggested it was virtue signaling. CDC guidelines state that people should wear face masks while indoors to halt the spread of COVID-19.
In 2016, Sullivan defended the Republican refusal to hold a hearing for President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, on the basis that the nomination was made "in the midst of an important national election." Sullivan said it was not "about the individual, it's about the principle" and "Alaskans deserve to have a voice in that direction through their vote, and we will ensure that they have one." In October 2020, in the last few weeks before the 2020 presidential election, Sullivan defended Trump's decision to nominate a Supreme Court justice—saying he was "well within his constitutional authority"—and voted to confirm the nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.
Missile defense system
In 2017, after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un threatened the United States with an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) strike and conducted an ICBM test in which its missile landed about 200 miles (320 km) off the coast of Japan, Sullivan called for improvements to the U.S. missile defense system.
Sullivan introduced the bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation, the FIRST STEP Act, but opposed the act after incurring amendments by the House of Representatives. The amended bill passed the Senate 87–12 on December 18, 2018. Trump signed the bill into law 3 days later.
Sullivan has cosponsored the bipartisan STATES Act proposed in the 115th U.S. Congress by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Colorado Senator Cory Gardner that would exempt individuals or corporations in compliance with state cannabis laws from federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act.
2021 National Defense Authorization Act
In December 2020, during his lame-duck period, Trump vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. The veto left new Coast Guard cutters that were scheduled to be homeported in Alaska without port facilities to maintain them. Sullivan questioned the veto, because it put in question whether the cutters could be placed in Alaska.
While at Georgetown, Sullivan met fellow law student Julie Fate, a staffer for U.S. Senator Ted Stevens. Sullivan and Fate married and had three daughters. Fate is the daughter of retired dentist and former Alaska State Representative Hugh "Bud" Fate and Mary Jane Fate, who was once the co-chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives.
|Republican||John M. Jaramillo||3,246||2.91|
|Democratic||Mark Begich (incumbent)||129,431||45.83|
|Libertarian||Mark S. Fish||10,512||3.72|
|Republican||Dan Sullivan (incumbent)||191,112||53.90|
|Alaskan Independence||John Howe||16,806||4.74|
- Axelrod, Tal & Zack Budryk. Sullivan wins reelection in Alaska, giving Republicans 50 seats in Senate, The Hill, November 11, 2020.
- . Retrieved 17 January 2016.
- Biography[permanent dead link], community.adn.com; accessed November 6, 2014.
- DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan Deployed to Afghanistan Archived 2013-10-17 at the Wayback Machine. Anchorage Daily News, July 22, 2013; retrieved July 31, 2013.
- Lisa Demer (April 19, 2014). "Candidate profile: Dan Sullivan, Marine and ex-resources chief, aims for US Senate seat". Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- Profile, adn.com, April 19, 2014; accessed November 7, 2014.
- Profile, adn.com; accessed November 6, 2014.
- Joseph, Cameron (September 30, 2014). "Tax assessor says Alaska's Senate hopeful was Md. resident". The Hill. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
- Article 3 - The Executive, law.justia.com; accessed September 9, 2016.
- Alaska legislature unanimously confirms Sullivan Archived 2010-04-11 at the Wayback Machine, adn.com; accessed November 6, 2014.
- Alaska Attorney General John Burns begins work, Fairbanks Daily News Miner, December 27, 2010.
- Jessica M. Karmasek,Burns is Alaska's new attorney general, Legal NewsLine, December 1, 2010; retrieved September 9, 2016.
- "DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan Deployed to Afghanistan" Archived 2013-10-17 at the Wayback Machine, adn.com, July 22, 2013; accessed November 6, 2014.
- "Former DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan enters U.S. Senate race". Anchorage Daily News. September 15, 2013.
- Huey-Burns, Caitlin (March 12, 2014). "Club for Growth Backs Sullivan in Alaska Race". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
- Sullivan, Sean (10 June 2014). "The 'People's Pledge' is back in Alaska. Wait, what the heck is that?". Retrieved 6 January 2018 – via www.washingtonpost.com.
- "United States Senate elections in Alaska, 2014". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
- Sullivan, Sean (August 15, 2014). "Sarah Palin endorses Joe Miller in Alaska Senate race". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
- "Sullivan declares victory in high- takes GOP Senate primary", Alaska Dispatch News, Dermot Cole, August 20, 2014; retrieved August 22, 2014.
- Bohrer, Becky. Voted yes for Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh 106/18. sSenator Sullivan's father's company RPM made parts for Boeing during the Reagan era. Republican Dan Sullivan wins Senate race in Alaska, Associated Press, November 12, 2014.
- Peligri, Justin. Republican challenger defeats Begich in Alaska Senate race, CNN, November 12, 2014.
- Walshe, Shushanna. Alaska Senate Race: Why Democrat Mark Begich Refuses To Concede, ABC News, November 12, 2014.
- Joseph, Cameron. Begich concedes Alaska Senate race, The Hill, November 17, 2014.
- "2014 General Election – November 4, 2014 – Official Results". www.elections.alaska.gov. Alaska Division of Elections. November 25, 2014. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
- Johnson, Kirk (November 12, 2014). "Dan Sullivan, G.O.P. Senate Challenger in Alaska, Wins Senate Race". The New York Times. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
- Burns, Katelyn (22 October 2020). "Al Gross is hoping to ride Alaska's independent streak to the Senate". Vox.
- Touchberry, Ramsey (22 May 2020). "A grizzly-fighting, independent doctor from Alaska could help Democrats turn the Senate blue". Newsweek.
- "AK-Sen: DSCC Smells GOP Blood In The Water, Endorses Dr. Al Gross (I) For U.S. Senate". Daily Kos.
- "Al Gross concedes Alaska U.S. Senate race to Dan Sullivan". Anchorage Daily News. 13 November 2020.
- "Alaska Senate election results 2020". NBC News.
- "'Never Trump' Republican group targets Dan Sullivan in new ad buy". Anchorage Daily News. 2020-07-29. Retrieved 2020-10-05.
- "Full statements on Donald Trump from Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan". Alaska Dispatch News. 2016-12-13. Retrieved 2017-02-08.
- Sullivan, Sen Dan (5 February 2020). "This afternoon, I voted to acquit President Trump on both charges brought against him by the House of Representatives. My full statement submitted to the congressional record". @SenDanSullivan. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
- Ruskin, Liz; Media, Alaska Public (February 6, 2020). "Sullivan, after voting to acquit Trump, calls the president's actions less than 'perfect'".
- "Trump endorses Sullivan re-election as US senator for Alaska". AP News. 2019-12-17. Retrieved 2020-10-01.
- "Miller pushes Senate opponents on climate change". Anchorage Daily News. 2014-05-18. Retrieved 2020-10-05.
- Ruskin, Liz; Media, Alaska Public (2015-01-24). "Murkowski, Sullivan Agree Climate is Changing but Split on Naming Cause". Alaska Public Media. Retrieved 2020-10-05.
- Cohen, Rachel M. (2020-10-12). "Locked in Tight Race, GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan Caught in Environmental Scandal". The Intercept. Retrieved 2020-10-22.
- "Senate 2020: In Alaska, a Controversy Over an Embattled Mine Has Tightened the Race". InsideClimate News. 2020-10-19. Retrieved 2020-10-22.
- McBride, Rhonda (2020-10-12). "Senate Fisheries Debate". Kodiak Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2020-10-10.
- "Tongass forest supporters rally in favor of roadless rule". AP NEWS. 2019-06-24. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
- "Trump to strip protections from Tongass National Forest, one of the biggest intact temperate rainforests". The Washington Post. 2020.
- "Cosponsors - S.720 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Israel Anti-Boycott Act". congress.gov. 23 March 2017.
- Levitz, Eric (2017-07-19). "43 Senators Want to Make It a Federal Crime to Boycott Israeli Settlements". Intelligencer.
- "NRA withholds endorsement in Alaska Senate race". CBS News. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
- Fram, Alan (2017-07-26). "Senators split over Obamacare vote". Alaska Journal. Associated Press. Retrieved 2020-10-01.
- Pear, Robert; Kaplan, Thomas; Cochrane, Emily (2017-07-27). "Health Care Debate: Obamacare Repeal Fails as McCain Casts Decisive No Vote". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-10-01.
- Parlapiano, Alicia; Andrews, Wilson; Lee, Jasmine C.; Shorey, Rachel (2017-07-25). "How Each Senator Voted on Obamacare Repeal Proposals". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-10-01.
- Miles, Frank (November 16, 2020). "Coronavirus mask protocol sparks testy exchange between Sen. Sullivan and Sen. Brown". Fox News.
- Clare Foran and Ted Barrett. "Ted Cruz calls Democratic senator an 'ass' following Senate floor mask dispute". CNN. Retrieved 2020-11-19.
- Elbeshbishi, Sarah. "'I don't need your instruction': Sens. Sherrod Brown and Dan Sullivan argue over wearing masks". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2020-11-19.
- "Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan says he'll 'thoroughly' assess Trump nominee for Supreme Court". Anchorage Daily News. 2020-09-22. Retrieved 2020-10-05.
- Becky Bohrer,  Alaska US senator says he will support Barrett nomination, Associated Press (October 21, 2020).
- Erin McGroarty,Sullivan backs Trump appointee for Supreme Court, Daily News-Miner (October 24, 2020).
- Riley, Kim (2017-07-28). "Bolster U.S. missile defense system, 'massively retaliate' if needed, Sen. Sullivan says". Homeland Preparedness News. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
- Gutierrez, Alexandra (October 31, 2014). "Alaska's War for Women's Votes". The New Yorker. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
- Joseph, Cameron (August 5, 2014). "Alaska Republicans focus on social issues in debate". The Hill.com. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
- Levin, Marianne (December 18, 2018). "Senate approves Trump-backed criminal justice overhaul". Politico. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
- "Cosponsors - S.3032 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): STATES Act". congress.gov. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
Robert Woolsey (2020-12-27). "Trump's Defense veto could sink Sitka's Coast Guard dock". KCAW. Archived from the original on 2020-12-28. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
Sitka was selected as a homeport for one of the six vessels. And while the actual ship itself doesn’t appear in jeopardy, there might not be anyplace to put it, if the veto stands.
- "Primary Election - August 19, 2014 Primary Election Results" (PDF). Alaska Division of Elections. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
- "General Election – November 4, 2014 General Election Results" (PDF). Alaska Division of Elections. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
- "2020 GENERAL ELECTION Election Summary Report - Official Results" (PDF). Alaska Division of Elections. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dan Sullivan (U.S. politician).|
- Senator Dan Sullivan official U.S. Senate website
- Dan Sullivan for Senate
- Dan Sullivan at Curlie
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
| Attorney General of Alaska
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Alaska
| United States Senator (Class 2) from Alaska
Served alongside: Lisa Murkowski
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Senators by seniority
Chris Van Hollen
|114th||Senate: L. Murkowski • D. Sullivan||House: D. Young|
|115th||Senate: L. Murkowski • D. Sullivan||House: D. Young|
|116th||Senate: L. Murkowski • D. Sullivan||House: D. Young|