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Mr. Stevens has the presumption of innocence throughout the race until his trial almost a month after the primary.

If Mr. Stevens survives the primary, he likely will face Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, a Democrat. An Ivan Moore poll taken after the indictment gave Mr. Begich a 21-percentage-point lead, up from nine points two weeks earlier.

As of June 30, Mr. Stevens had raised $2.9 million and had $1.7 million cash on hand. Mr. Vickers did not file for candidacy until June but already had loaned his campaign $190,609. Mr. Cuddy was also primarily self-financed, having loaned his campaign $176,785.

Mr. Begich had raised $1.3 million and had $803,650 cash available, with a small debt.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday that Mr. Stevens picked up $100,000 at a single fundraiser recently, which suggests that major donors aren’t fleeing.

Hampering Mr. Vickers’ efforts are charges that he is a carpetbagger and an unsteady Republican. He moved back to Alaska at the beginning of this year after decades away from the state, and his political experience comes mainly from Florida, where he worked for politicians of both parties but had deep ties with Democrats.

His pitch to voters is pure maverick.

He is critical of Mr. Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq: “I mean, that’s an impeachable offense, but the Democrats didn’t have the guts to impeach him. Of course, the Republican Party didn’t either.”

He said U.S. troops should be pulled from both Iraq and Afghanistan because the federal budget can’t handle the expense.

“I haven’t heard any national leader say we’ve got to pull out of Afghanistan,” he said, adding that increasing military forces in Afghanistan, as both major presidential candidates propose, is the wrong way to find a fugitive. “These foreign adventures have to stop. We’re not the United Kingdom during the 18th century.”

The election is not Mr. Vickers’ first high-profile public fight, though last time he was behind the scenes.

As the owner of Eller and Co., Mr. Vickers had stakes in both the company that controlled the Port of Miami’s operations and the biggest stevedoring company for the port. When he heard his partners were trying to see out to Dubai Ports, he balked.

“We started trying to light the fuse,” he said. That meant stirring up press reports and getting some members of Congress to take up the cause. By the time the matter was finished, Mr. Bush had backed down in the face of a full-fledged revolt from his own party, which controlled Congress and was preparing to pass legislation overturning his decision.

“In that fight, I had the emir of Dubai and the president of the United States against me. In this fight two years later, I’ve got a senator who thinks he’s emperor of Alaska and the entire political establishment against me, and Big Oil against me,” he said. “I don’t know which one is tougher.”