By ranking the “red,” perhaps former Gov. Bill Walker didn’t understand that it means rank the Republican. Perhaps he thought it meant a different kind of red — the Marxist type.
Walker, who was once a Republican, wants voters to rank him first for governor, and to rank Democrat Les Gara second.
Walker started running as a no-party candidate in 2014, and then merged his campaign with Democrat Byron Mallott, who became his running mate. He served as governor for four years, but voters booted him out of office in 2018. Now, he is running again, still an undeclared candidate, but with radical-progressive leanings. At the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce debate on Wednesday, Walker said voters should rank him first, and rank Gara, the hardest of the hard-left Democrats, second.
Alaskans will, for the first time in state history, rank their choices for governor on Nov. 8, rather than choosing just one. Walker, during the open primary, only received 22.8% of the vote, slightly behind Gara and far behind Gov. Mike Dunleavy, the incumbent, who got 40.4% of the vote. Charlie Pierce, another Republican, received 6.6% and Chris Kurka, yet another Republican, received nearly 4%.
Dunleavy was not at the forum, as he was on site in Western Alaska, where there is a major disaster occurring with coastal flooding.
During the debate, Walker also said the state needs to return to the Coastal Zone Management Program, a program that the state disconnected from in 2011. The issue boils down to who gets to control the outcome of permitting decisions on state land. The Alaska program had had a twisted history with a jumble of plans that led to uncertainty, and the program was another layer of review that did not add any value other than being regulatory netting.
During the debate, Gara said that Dunleavy is anti-gay. It’s the second time he has made the assertion about the governor who, during his first run for governor in 2018, suffered from a Democrat-led smear campaign that alleged Dunleavy was secretly gay.