Desperation ticket: Walker homogenizes with Gara to try to beat Gov. Dunleavy, using the Walker-Mallott playbook of 2014, as Democrats give up again

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In recent months, the campaigns of no-party candidate Bill Walker and Democrat candidate Les Gara, both vying for liberal votes for governor, have looked more and more like the same campaign. The two are blending and are at this point nearly indistinguishable.

Each man has his own woman running mate. Heidi Drygas is wedded to the campaign of Walker, and Jessica Cook is the “political wife” of Les Gara.

Drygas and Cook are in their support roles this week advertising the campaigns jointly, in “rank the blue” style pitches in the final days leading up to the Nov. 8 election.

They want voters to vote their team first, and the other team second on the ranked-choice ballot. Both teams would be satisfied, they signal in their ads, if Dunleavy were to be replaced by either of Walker or Gara. The two campaigns have stopped criticizing each other in recent weeks, and are still just offering abortion and taxes in ads that are increasingly shrill.

To state the obvious: The Walker and Gara campaigns have combined; they are separate in name only. Walker has co-opted the Democrat ticket once again in a desperate act reminiscent of what Walker did in September of 2014, when he combined his campaign with Byron Mallott, the Democrat who was running for governor that year, and who had won the Democrat primary. Walker convinced Mallott that he could not win (Walker was going to serve as the spoiler), and his only option was to be No. 2, with a promise that Mallott could run the government, while Walker worked on the gasline.

It came to pass quickly that Mallott ditched his own lieutenant governor candidate, Hollis French, and Walker ditched his pick, Craig Fleener. Deals were hashed out to ensure that, should the new Walker-Mallott ticket win, both of the former lieutenant gubernatorial candidates would be taken care of.

Walker and Mallott went on to win with the help of a complicit mainstream media, fixated on a phony scandal cooked up by the Walker and Democrat operatives. And the rewards to the two men who bowed out? French would get a seat on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and Fleener would get the coveted job of director of the Governor’s Office in Washington, D.C. Both were plum patronage jobs.

Now, in 2022, another deal appears to be in the works — this time with Walker making a deal with the Democrats once again. Must Read Alaska has learned there are agreements between the two men, both of whom are lawyers familiar with how to negotiate.

Would a Gov. Gara make Walker the head of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation so he can work on his passion — building a gasline?

Would Walker, as governor, make Gara his attorney general?

Another curiosity of the new Walker-Gara shadow ticket is that in 2014, Mallot received 42,327 votes in the Democrat primary. That is almost exactly the number of votes Walker received in the 2022 August jungle primary: 42,943.

Gara, in the August, 2022 primary, edged out Walker by getting 43,511 votes. If their plan works and if their voters do as they are instructed by Walker-Gara, the result in the general election could technically give one of them enough to get to 50%+1, which is what is needed to win in the ranked-choice election.

Combined, they have a possible 86,459 votes in the general election, although the Democrats may be highly motivated to turn out this year to elect Mary Peltola to Congress, which would shift the calculus in favor of the Walker-Gara ticket.

Gov. Dunleavy did better than either of the lead challengers in the primary, with 76,248 votes; he had a more crowded field of conservatives on the primary ballot to contend with and some of those conservative voters who opted for other conservatives on the ballot will come his way in the general election.

Also in the general election, Dunleavy might expect to pick up some of Republican Charlie Pierce’s and even Republican Chris Kurka’s voters; Pierce took 12,439 votes and Kurka received 7,281 in the primary. That would be enough to secure a second term for Dunleavy, with a possible 96,000 votes in the first round of counting. That doesn’t even count where the Libertarians and Alaskan Independence Party voters put their marks on the ballot.

Modeling shows that Dunleavy has a 77% chance of winning reelection, which would be the first time in Alaska history since Gov. Jay Hammond that a Republican has secured a second term. But it doesn’t appear he can win 50+1 on the first round of counting. He’ll need those Charlie Pierce second votes.

According to analyst Logan Phillips, an Obama alum, at RacetotheWH.org, Walker has but a 31% chance of making it to the final round, while Gara has a 67.5% chance of making the final round.

Gara also has a better chance of winning than Walker, although slight; Gara has an 11.9% chance of winning and Walker has a 9.8% chance, according to the RacetotheWH analysis.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Gotta give him credit. He’s gonna win re-election no matter what he has to promise to whom.

    I thought Hilary was the sleezest thing I’d ever seen in politics. I am corrected.

    Bill Walker would truly stoop to any level to get what he wants.

  2. How do we get past giving the advantage to those without scruples? I have been getting spam text messages from Mary Peltola, aka “Team Mary!!” (Don’t forget the exclamation points. You’re supposed to be excited) Someone like me would just ignore it or send a remove message. If I got a message like this from a republican, I’d be inclined to vote for the other one. I just hope there is a similar distaste from those who were considering voting for Mary. In such case they’d vote for Palin, I guess.

  3. Why didn’t Gara just sign up to be Walker’s soulmate, with Walker on top of the ticket? It would have given Democrats a better advantage.

    .answer,
    The pedophile ghost of Byron Mallott. Pedophilia is a Democrat thingie. That’s why Gara and Walker each have their own woman running mate to safeguard them.
    .
    This year, it will be Dunleavy by a landslide. Thank you, Byron Mallott, for leaving behind your legacy.

    • Four years ago Austin Baird and Grace Jang, Walker spokespeople at the time, said they would get back to Alaskans in two hours to let us know why Mallott resigned as Lt. Gov. and collapsed the Walker-Mallott ticket over something Mallott did at the AFN Convention. I am still waiting for Baird and Jang to keep their word. Alaskans are forever tainted by this. Mallott was a pretender. Walker is a crook. I hope that Baird and Jang are no longer Alaskans!

      • It took the ADN an entire year to make a mention about this pedophile affair, giving Walker as much cover as possible. Walker’s only remarks at the time was, “Mallott may have had inappropriate communications with someone.” What a load of hooey by Walker.
        .
        Walker’s Chief of Staff at the time, Scott Kendall, was in full damage control trying to save Walker’s a$$. 75-year old Mallott was desperate to get some action with an underaged Native girl, the daughter of [redacted] state employee that Mallott had promoted.
        .
        Walker had to resign from his candidacy for a second term. How was this not a lead story across Alaska? Because Democrats who control the media put a lock on it.
        .
        This will be Walker’s third attempt for governor. If Alaskans don’t realize by now that Walker is a liar and has other moral failures which would create a huge flow of corruption in our state, they are wearing blinders to the truth.
        .
        Reject Bill Walker.

  4. This time he doesn’t have a NG scandal to milk to win this election. Whatever happened with that NG scandal when ol Billy Walker became Governor?? Anyone? Yeah ADN dropped that story like a hot pocket fresh out of the microwave.

      • Those were nothing burgers, but ADN put them on their front page. Pedophilia is huge and the ADN wouldn’t cover it. That’s the difference. Alaskans can see through the corrupt Democrats and their allies in the media. The Democrats have the sorry mainstream media for cover-up. The rest of us have ……..
        .
        Suzanne and MRAK.
        .

  5. Pierce and Kurka supporters need to take the humble pie to vote Dunleavy and only him. Don’t worry! This not the last time to support pierce or kurka. They’ll be back while kurka is still ‘young.’

  6. Gara and Walker are the two Bernies. Gara is in step with Bernie Sanders. Walker is very much like Bernie Madoff.

  7. If Walker or Gara win it will be solely due to conservatives. If conservatives rank for the most conservative candidates then Dunleavy will win, if they don’t they are voting for liberal progressives.

  8. Anybody relying on Race to the White House as data is going to miss the election results, as they are a highly leftist site tilting numbers to use them as political ammunition. Same thing with Nate Plastics Fivethirtyeight. Real clear politics is a better site for political data as they use historical precedence as there political data and they don’t analyze they’re own data. The betting markets however, are historically the most accurate and tend to be ahead of all the forecasters. Right now they conclude that Dunleavy has a 91% chance of reelection, and the GOP has a 70% chance of taking back the senate.

  9. Pierce is the dragging anchor that could cause Dunleavy to lose the first round, giving Walker and Gara a solid chance.

    • Yuppers, I will be voting the best Candidate Charlie Pierce and give my 2nd choice vote to someone who folded like a wet noodle before the left, but is better any anything the left has to offer.

    • That’s not how RCV works. Pierce will almost certainly come in last in the first round which means he will be eliminated assuming Dunleavy doesn’t get over 50%. Pierce’s voters, assuming they weren’t being immature and stubborn, almost certainly would have ranked Dunleavy 2nd which means in round 2 their votes will transfer to Dunleavy. The end result will be the same.

  10. It bothers me immensely that industry leaders such as Jim Jansen are supportive of Walker. I know that it has nothing to do with political values, but more about who’s the best chance of winning under the new voting system. The left is counting on a split vote among the conservatives, so the idiots win. I like Charlie, but realize that he can’t win. I don’t agree with most of Dunlevy’s handling of the Covid, but don’t blame him entirely since he tried without a house to support him. I will vote for him because he is our only option at this point. Many of the new voters in our state are not veterans of Walker’s reign of embarrassment. But if we unite and vote for one candidate that stands a chance, we will not loose to someone who can’t get the real majority of our votes. We Alaskans must play to win, and having two teams on the field only confuses the players. Pick a team and support it.

    • If people would take the time to learn and understand how RCV works there should be no vote splitting. If you like Charlie better, vote for Charlie first and Dunleavy second. If polling is to be believed Charlie will be eliminated in the first round and you’ll just end up having voted for Dunleavy in the end. The result is the same but nothing wrong with making your voice heard through your first choice vote.

  11. Suzanne said: “Walker and Mallott went on to win with the help of a complicit mainstream media, fixated on a phony scandal cooked up by the Walker and Democrat operatives.”

    The biggest thing that allowed the Unity Ticket to even stay on the ballot was an opinion from the AK Supremes that found the ticket combination a week or so after the drop dead date was legal. Rationale? It was some sort of emergency, so the court rewrote AK Election Law on the fly. It wasn’t their last time to do so.

    If the courts don’t intervene, Parnell wins. Cheers –

    • You are 100% correct!
      At that moment there was no mention of deadlines or disenfranchising voters, who voted for Hollis French or Craig Fleener. The judicial council selectees aka AK supreme court paid the piper, allowing their preferred candidate’s wishes to override state law. It was a foreshadow of the PFD mess, when “transfer” morphed into “appropriation” and ballot measure 2s three distinct topics all became one (and so the only way this monstrosity passed)
      Vote “YES” on the constitutional convention!!

  12. I am on board with Kelly Tshibaka and Nick Begich but I can’t yet close the deal on voting for Mike Dunleavy. He is a fiscally liberal RINO who consistently allows the legislature to roll over him. Bloated budgets and low PFDs. I get he is better than Bill Walker but voting for people like him send the wrong message to the state GOP.

  13. Walker and Gara have been in lock step since the beginning. The law firm that Walker works for has funded both of them – $25,000 for Walker and $16,000 for Gara. This is the whole purpose of RCV. If you can’t beat the front runner, then combine to add together to get more votes and beat him that way. So far Walker/Gara have tried several nothing-burgers to get more votes. So be aware! Still a week left. Right now they are riding the 3 million dollar Republican Governors Fund donation to a separate fund as a way to get Alaskans riled enough to vote their way. Anyone who is not ranking red in the Governors race is voting for Walker/Gara. Period. This election is not the one to think about sending a message to the state GOP. RANK THE RED and DEFEAT WALKER/GARA.

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