ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Former state Attorney General Dan Sullivan became the latest mainstream Republican to turn back a tea party challenger, winning the Alaska GOP primary to become his party's candidate to take on U.S. Sen. Mark Begich in the fall.<br />
Republicans see the Alaska race as a key contest in their attempt to capture the Senate majority from Democrats.<br />
Sullivan entered the primary the presumed front-runner, with the backing of national GOP powerbrokers and a huge cash advantage over his rivals.<br />
He had the support of Karl Rove and groups like Club for Growth. Democrats clearly see him as a serious threat; roughly $4 million in attacks have been run against Sullivan by a pro-Begich super PAC.<br />
Sullivan released a statement early Wednesday, looking forward to the general election battle with the first-term incumbent.
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
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