Breaking: Walker suspends campaign - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, September 23, 2019
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Breaking: Walker suspends campaign

Gov. Bill Walker announced at AFN this afternoon that he is suspending his campaign for re-election. He has thrown his support to Mark Begich for governor and gave a stinging rebuke to candidate Mike Dunleavy, the Republican who is the leading candidate for governor. Begich is a Democrat.

Walker made courtesy phone calls to those closest to him to share the news in advance of the debate today, where he was scheduled to spar with Begich and Dunleavy.

Instead, he was giving the stage at about 2:40 pm and made a stunning announcement that he will not run for re-election due to not enough time left between the devastating events of the week and the end of the election cycle on Nov. 6.

Speaking of Dunleavy, he said that the former rural schoolteacher-turned-senator would cut Medicaid expansion, reduce school funding, and take away funding for the Alaska LNG project.

His statement indicates he has made a deal with Begich to preserve those priorities, especially the gasline project that is dear to him.

His voice cracking and his face distorted, Walker struggled through his remarks. His announcement brought a huge gasp from the audience, and a standing ovation when he left the stage with his wife Donna Walker, his daughters, and two grandchildren, along with Lt. Gov. Valerie Davidson.

After his announcement, a song was sung by delegates, and then several delegates spoke words of thanks to the governor for having issued an apology to the Native people of Alaska for the historic wrongs, and other emotional speeches about Walker’s good deeds as governor.

The agenda of AFN was suspended while speech after speech was made, along with a prayer by First Lady Donna Walker, and other formalities that included the gifting of presents and singing of songs. The event was very emotional for the entire body in attendants. Several members of the governor’s team were present and some were seen leaving quickly in tears.

Earlier in the week, Walker received the news that his former lieutenant governor had had an inappropriate exchange with a young woman, and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott was forced to resign over it. The news set the Walker-Mallott campaign back, and even with the swearing in of Davidson, there was not enough time to get back on track, Walker acknowledged today.

 

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Well….now it’s gonna be a race. Let’s hope sanity prevails and Dunleavy remains ahead.

    • Thank you for letting me know who you support, Michael. It tells me who not to vote for in the election. Can you list the others, also?

      • What do you know about Michael Dukes that you don’t want to vote like he does?

      • So, that’s how you decide who to vote for instead of evaluating the candidates’ qualifications? Pretty shallow thinking. Hopefuly there aren’t too many more non-thinkers such as yourself out there.

      • How the Dems get elected, voters with no knowledge of the issues.

    • Ditto!!! Yay! ?

  • What are the legalities here? Our secretly sworn in Lt. Governor, has not been approved by the legislature. She is supposed to oversee this election….or? And, what about the absentee ballots already cast? What about the ballots already printed?

    And so many other questions!

  • Good grief I’m a tad weary of the apologizing – all in the interest of promoting entitlement – for the purpose of votes- for the purpose of leftist power. Deceivingly making people believe they are forever owed something and they lap it up drliriously not even recognizing it is entitlement destroying a rich culture, not ‘white man’. Alas I do generalize a bit as there are many bright minds that can see through the charade.

  • Hallelujah!

  • You know that he is going to be heading to jail along with his cronies for their illegal dictatorship type of governing and all the illegal side deals

  • Follow the money Suzanne! What will Walker get if Begich wins? What will his key staff members get?

    If any statewide candidate didn’t learn the lesson in 2010, they surely will now; don’t discount the ANC’s and the Native vote. And, I hope that the Native Elders will look at the two candidates and make an informed decision advising the people. Realize that one candidate wants to move Alaska forward and one candidate wants to use the office of governor as a stepping stone and to advance an agenda that’s not in Alaskas best interest.

  • Headline should be “King Rat Jumps Ship”.

  • The choice for voters is cleaner than ever. Dunleavy’s plan will bring Alaska renewed prosperity, which will translate into a lower crime rate, better schools and a generous PFD. Let’s fix the problems at the core.

  • Dear President Trump. You told us if we elected you, we would be so tired from all of all the winning. Well Mr. President, I can assure you, as soon as I got home and saw this story, or, ah, I mean gift, on MRA about Walker, I just wanted to assure you we are not tired yet. In fact, I am thinking we still won’t be tired from all of this winning even after November 6th when we finally fire Seaton, LeDoux, and a few more scallywags next. So no, Alaska is not tired of all this wining!

  • I wish he would of stayed in the race.
    Thus dividing the Liberal and extreme Progressive wackos.

    I also agree with the majority of the comments above.
    Something to remember.

    Republicans who stay home
    Elect
    Democrats

    So tell your family and friends to get out and vote!

    Take care, be safe.
    God bless.
    Griz

    • The dems make great promises to the unions and they do vote. Independent voters need to rally and get out to vote. Go through your neighborhood and educate people on the issues.

  • Here’s a theory… the Begich crew had the goods, serious goods, on Mallott and sat on it. Eventually they crafted a way for Mallott to fall on his sword over something almost insignificant, giving him a path to exit the stage with some even calling him courageous. With the dominoes falling so close to the election, Walker is mathematically forced to quit the campaign, probably wondering how he didn’t see it coming. And now Begich pours on the advertisements, and to soon to be released smears. It’s a scheme right out of democrat party playbook. Cui bono?

  • So Natives sang songs of praise for Walker? Did anyone record the song of praise about him taking half the PFDs from every Native man, woman and child?

  • This could turn out poorly for the Left. It is fair to note that at least to some extent, Mr. Walker was positioning himself as someone to the left of Mike Dunleavy and to the right of Mark Begich. Most of the “hard left” voters were already with Begich. While it is true that most of the Walker voters will swing to Begich a portion, perhaps a significant portion, will vote for Dunleavy or stay home. Thus a poll from just a few days showed Dunleavy leading Begich 52 to 45. No doubt the next polls will show a relatively close race between Dunleavy and Begich. Nevertheless, Mr. Walker, by being on the ballot will still syphon votes away from Begich that Mr. Begich really needs to win. And all the absentee ballots that have already been cast for Mr. Walker are gone forever. Fascinating stuff.

    • Well put JMARK, I absolutely agree. I was a Walker voter in 2014 and would have been in 2018. I can’t stomach Begich and the gubernatorial forums I’ve sat through that Dunleavy attended, it quickly became apparent this job might be over his head. That being said with a choice of Begich or Dunleavy, my vote will be going to the latter.
      Sadly my union has already jumped on the Begich train. At some point in the future it would be nice to see republican candidates reach out to the unions, at least to the building trades unions. It may take a few tries to garner support, but it’s there in the membership. With the Democrats moving farther and farther to the left the opportunity is there.

      • I hope that you and your union brothers and sisters will appreciate and benefit from a revitalized Alaska economy. I know that is Mike Dunleavy’s goal.

  • Good Lord. I cannot believe anyone falls for this theater. There must be people in that crowd that can see through these fake apologies. The bogus promises. The smears. How long must we all make amends for the actions of our forefathers? Using statements to scare the people that big bad Mike is going to turn off the dole spigot and “gasp” people might have to not suck off the state anymore. Does Bill Walker know who he is anymore? A republican? Independent? Now tossing support behind Begich. One thing we do know is he’s a carpenter. Go back to building things and tinkering in your garage. Stay away from us.

  • Shouldn’t it be Byron that did the apology to the natives?

  • Walker gladly accepted hundreds of thousands of $ from all over the state and outside. Many people spent a great deal of their time working to get him elected: The people who contributed or worked so hard should be outraged at his cowardly withdrawal. He will never be forgotten or forgiven for quitting. If he has any of that money on hand he should return it immediately. But I am confident that he will not. From now on and probably for ever Walker will be of no matter.

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