JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunleavy’s campaign has removed from an advertisement footage of a Fairbanks woman who objected to being included in it.
Marjorie Tahbone said the ad took advantage of her Inupiaq ethnicity.
The original version of the ad included several seconds of Tahbone walking in the woods and dancing as part of a group, Alaska Public Media reported.
Tahbone criticized the ad in a Facebook post and said she doesn’t support Dunleavy, one of the highest-profile Republicans seeking the GOP’s nomination for governor in next month’s primary. The campaign took the ad down Sunday, after becoming aware of her concerns. The ad has been reposted without footage of Tahbone.
Dunleavy campaign manager Brett Huber said he sent Tahbone a message saying that while the footage was legally obtained, the campaign did not want anyone included in an ad they didn’t support.
The footage was from an AJ+ news video. AJ+ is part of the Al Jazeera Media Network. Huber said use of such footage is typical for campaign ads.
Dunleavy would not try to use an image of an Alaska Native woman to indicate support from Natives, Huber said. Dunleavy is “colorblind and he’s gender-blind,” the campaign manager said.
“Mike’s been married to an Alaska Native woman for 31 years. He would never advantage specifically an Alaska Native, a Caucasian or any other race,” Huber said. “People are people, so certainly that was never our intent, nor would it be something that Mike would pursue.”
AJ+ senior producer Maggie Beidelman said the company wouldn’t have granted permission to use the video if Dunleavy’s campaign had asked.
Video makers might use brief clips for purposes such as illustration, arguing they can do so under the copyright doctrine of fair use.
Dunleavy is a former state senator from Wasilla. His highest-profile rival on the GOP side is former Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.
Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, is seeking re-election. Democrat Mark Begich is also running.
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