In an unprecedented move in Alaska politics, Democrat Byron Mallott is suspending his run for governor to unite with an Independent candidate. This decision is sure to shake up the Alaska election in November.
Mallott has united to join the ticket of Independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker. Mallott will run for lieutenant governor.
“There’s been a lot of speculation over the course of several weeks that in a three-way race there’s no way for a Walker candidacy or my candidacy to prevail,” said Mallott. “We will merge our campaigns and move forward as a unified Alaskan ticket. This is unprecedented.”
The push to merge the tickets came largely from opponents of Republican governor Sean Parnell.The Alaska AFL-CIO refused to endorse any candidate unless Parnell had only one opponent in the race.
“We have a competitive governor’s race,” said Democratic Party spokesman Zack Fields. “The party endorsed their partnership.”
The Alaska Democratic Party voted 89-2 to support the Independent campaign of Bill Walker and Byron Mallott. Walker dropped his Republican affiliation, while Mallott dropped his allegience to the Democratic Party. The men will unite under the “Alaska First Unity ticket”.
Mallott and Walker will compete against Republican governor Sean Parnell. Parnell’s spokesman responded to the decision with a jab at both candidates.
“Bill Walker is really a Democrat, and he and Byron can now advocate freely for [President] Obama’s policies in Alaska,” said Luke Miller. “Whether expanding Obamacare, raising taxes or growing government, Bill and Byron have confirmed they are part of Alaska’s Team Obama.”
Mallott insists that he and Walker are uniting to improve Alaska’s future.
“We share very similar views about the future of Alaska as a place and its people and the kind of society we need to build toward,” said Mallott. “We differ on personal moral issues. He is pro-life. I am pro-choice …. We are basing our campaign on a very broad belief in the future of Alaska and that will be the core of the campaign.”