Music Matters
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

9/3/14 KNBA News - Bill Walker, Byron Mallott combine campaigns to unseat Gov. Sean Parnell

Gubernatorial candidates Bill Walker and Byron Mallott have combined their campaigns in an attempt to unseat incumbent Governor Sean Parnell. Former Republican Walker is running as an undeclared independent candidate.  Mallott has withdrawn as a candidate for Governor and is running for Lt. Governor. Walker says the change took the agreement of the two Lt. Gov. candidates Craig Fleen and Hollis French, as well. Walker says all were driven by deep concerns about the state's deficit spending that he says will leave Alaska broke in just a few years. Mallott said the decision to withdraw as the Democratic Party's nominee for Governor was "agonizing," but he believes the majority of those who voted for him want a better Alaska, and the changed ticket makes that possible.

Walker says the decision on whether Walker or Mallott would run as Governor was decided by a poll that showed Parnell would win a three-way race, but Walker would lead Parnell by four or five points in a two-way race. Walker said he and Mallott will work as a team during the campaign and in the Governor's Office. Mallott, a Tlingit Indian from southeast Alaska, also said Walker's position on issues such as tribal sovereignty, subsistence and voting rights, are in line with his own beliefs and values.

The two highlighted the high cost of energy, and education as priorities. Walker says his first priority will be to build a natural gas pipeline to carry North Slope gas to Asian markets.

The Department of law issued a statement saying nothing prohibits the ballot change requested by Walker and Mallott.

Gov. Sean Parnell said the Walker-Mallott ticket offers Alaskans a clear choice. Parnell says Walker and Mallott will bring more of President Obama's policies, while he and his running mate for Lt. Gov., Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, offer more freedom, less government, and more economic opportunity.