Gov Bill Walker filed his letter of intent to run for governor today.
Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott filed his letter of intent on Sunday night and today they announced on their campaign web site that they will remain as a nonpartisan team, although Mallott will remain a Democrat.
The Republican Governors Association issued an immediate comment, titled, Alaska Can’t Afford Four More Years With Bill Walker As Governor:
“After numerous credit downgrades, a $3 billion deficit, and a reputation as one of the worst states in America for business, Alaskans can’t afford four more years of Bill Walker as governor,” the association said. “Walker announced his re-election campaign today, vowing with his running mate to finish ‘the work we have started.’ But after nearly four years of failed policies that have made Alaska’s economy worse and job outlook bleak, Walker is already previewing the damage he would do if re-elected, with a goal of increasing the tax burden on Alaska’s citizens with a major tax hike.
“With Alaska ranked as one of the worst states in the country for business in 2017 by CNBC and a credit rating that has been downgraded multiple times since he took office, Walker now seems to think that more job-killing tax hikes are what Alaskans want. But as recent polling shows, Walker is one of the most unpopular governors in America, as Alaska voters are fed up with his failed leadership and policies that have hurt the state and pushed it backward.”
The first question that comes to mind is: Is the Alaska Democratic Party behind this team, as it was in 2014, when the two politicians combined forces and forced out their running mates?
And is the AFL-CIO also behind the Walker-Mallott ticket, as it was in 2014, or will a fully Democrat ticket emerge?
“It’s not surprising to me that the governor’s main allies, the Democratic Party and the AFL-CIO, are nowhere to be seen on the his announcement this morning,” said Tuckerman Babcock, chair of the Alaska Republican Party. “The governor was pondering running as a Republican, where he is not welcome, but apparently he is not welcome as a Democrat either. His re-election may be just as much a fantasy as his gas pipeline.”
In a press release, the two say their administration is the only independent administration in the United States, although they do not acknowlege they had the full support of the Alaska Democratic Party during the election. The party dropped its own candidates, combined tickets and ran Walker-Mallott as so-called “independents.”