According to the Washington, D.C. news organization, Politico, the Alaska governor’s race in 2018 makes the top 10 list of most interesting gubernatorial races in 2018.
Illinois, New Mexico, and Maine hold the top three spots, with Illinois expected to be one of the most expensive gubernatorial races in that state’s history.
Here’s what Politico says about Alaska’s race:
7. Alaska — Independent Gov. Bill Walker is running for reelection.
Walker is an independent, which means he doesn’t enjoy the support of either the Republican Governors Association or the Democratic Governors Association. No Democrat has jumped into the race to challenge Walker from that side, although former Sen. Mark Begich’s name has been floated. On the Republican side, the RGA and a trio of declared GOP gubernatorial candidates — former state House Speaker Mike Chenault, businessman Scott Hawkins and former state Senate President Charlie Huggins — are eager to unseat Walker. The Alaska Republican primary is late, on Aug. 21, so the field could get bigger or change before then. But the bottom line is that Alaska is a reliably Republican state, and the GOP likes its odds against one of the more unusual governors in the country.
The report may have been written before Republican Sen. Mike Dunleavy rejoined the race in late December, after taking a few months off to deal with a health issue. And it also ignores Michael Sheldon, a Republican from Petersburg.
In Alaska, Republicans and Democrats have occupied the Governor’s Office in roughly equal measure, with five Democrats and seven Republicans.
Gov. Bill Walker in 2014 left the Republican Party to run as an undeclared candidate paired with Democrat Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott. He had the full support and financial backing of the Alaska Democratic Party, which withdrew their candidate to ensure Walker’s victory.
Thirty-six governor’s seats are up for election in 2018. Thirty-three governorships are occupied by Republicans.
Unrelated to the Politico article, the University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball puts the Alaska race in the toss-up category: