Lieutenant Gov. Byron Mallott resigned today and Commissioner of Health and Social Services Valerie Davidson was sworn in as lieutenant governor. The events took place quickly in mid-day.
The announcement of Byron Mallott’s resignation was leaked before noon, but came after a secret swearing in of Davidson.
Davidson has helped lead Gov. Bill Walker’s charge in abdicating the State’s authority in favor of tribal sovereignty. And she led the charge for Obamacare Medicaid expansion in Alaska. She will now be in charge of the Division of Elections.
One decision the Walker campaign will have to make is who will be on the ticket with Walker. Mallott’s name is on the ballot now and some ballots have already been voted via absentee. Some 21,000 ballots were sent out absentee and 1,000 or more have been returned.
Intelligence that Must Read Alaska has indicates that this relates to Mallott’s behavior.
Update: Mallott is said to have made inappropriate comments to a woman.
Governor Walker and Lieutenant Governor Davidson released the following statements:
“It is with profound disappointment and sadness that I accepted the resignation of Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott.
“Byron recently made inappropriate comments that do not reflect the sterling level of behavior required in his role as Lieutenant Governor. I learned of the incident last night. Byron has taken full responsibility for his actions and has resigned.
“As leaders, we must hold ourselves to the highest standards of conduct.
“Valerie Davidson was confirmed as Lieutenant Governor-designee earlier this April. She was sworn in today as Lieutenant Governor. Doctor Jay Butler has been appointed Commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services. Alaskans can be confident that Valerie Davidson will assume the duties of Lieutenant Governor with grace and dignity.”
“Alaskans deserve the highest standards of conduct by their elected officials. While I am deeply saddened by the resignation of Lt. Governor Byron Mallott, I am profoundly disappointed by his conduct,” said Davidson.
“Respect for women, and the dignity of all Alaskans, is our responsibility. I stand ready to serve as your Lieutenant Governor,” Davidson said.
Mallott became lieutenant governor after he first was the Democrat nominee for governor in 2014. He stepped aside to allow Bill Walker to run in his slot, and he filled the lieutenant governor slot on the “unity ticket”. The two of them beat Sean Parnell in the General Election.
What did Lt. Gov. Mallott say and to whom? Some say it was this story:
This is the fourth Democratic forced resignation in 18 months due to misconduct involving treatment of women. The others include Representatives Dean Westlake, Zach Fansler, Justin Parish, and now Byron Mallott.
This story will be updated.