Double take: Alaska could have two senators with same name

A tale of two Dans: U.S. Senator from Alaska Dan Sullivan on the right and wannabe U.S. Senator from Alaska Dan Sullivan on the left.

Story highlights

  • It's hard to believe but true
  • Dan Sullivan and Dan Sullivan in the Senate

(CNN)Dan Sullivan is the junior senator from Alaska. But if things go right for Dan Sullivan in November, Dan Sullivan could also be the senior senator from Alaska.

A remarkable coincidence has created a situation whereby both of Alaska's U.S. senators could be named Dan Sullivan.
    It's the result of the former mayor of Anchorage -- named Dan Sullivan -- deciding to mount a primary challenge against Republican incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Should Sullivan win the primary and be elected in November, there would be two Dan Sullivans from Alaska in the Senate at the same time.
    The former mayor is Daniel A. Sullivan; the current U.S. Senator is Daniel S. Sullivan.
    Sullivan -- the mayor -- announced moments before the filing deadline this week that he was entering the race, according to the Anchorage news station KTUU.
    "One is not enough," he joked.
    The mayor said in an interview with the station that he was jumping in because "competition is a good thing overall for any candidate," and not, as presumed, to torture Capitol Hill pages tallying roll call votes.
    And Mayor Sullivan cited the "longtime" friendship between his and Murkowski's families in the interview, saying he just wants "to make sure that conservative voters have a choice."
    Senator Dan Sullivan, meanwhile, was elected in 2014 -- so if the mayor's bid is successful, Alaska could be confused for at lest four years.
    In 2010, Murkowski scraped through a tight election, losing the Republican primary to tea party challenger Joe Miller before winning a razor-thin general election through the first successful write-in campaign for a U.S. senate candidate in 50 years.