Notes from the trail: Walker picks up new co-chairs


Twenty-four days left in the regular primary election and the special general election to fill the remainder of Congressman Don Young’s term in office (until January). The long election season hits that speed bump on Aug. 16 on the way to the Nov. 8 general election.

Endorsements: Jim Jansen, CEO of Lynden, has jumped ship from Gov. Dunleavy, who he supported in 2018, and is now a co-chair for the Bill Walker for governor campaign. He is joined as co-chair by Jim Dodson of Fairbanks, Bruce Botelho, of Juneau, Mike Navarre of Kenai, and Meg Nordale of Fairbanks in the latest announcement of endorsements.

Charlie Hardesty of Cordova has endorsed Kelly Tshibaka for Senate.

BIPAC, known as the oldest business political action committee in America, endorsed Nick Begich III for House. The late Alaskan politico Scott Hawkins of Advanced Supply Chain International was the president of BIPAC until he died in 2019. Business-Industry Political Action Committee is a premier private sector political action group that has 7,000 companies in the group.

Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA fame endorsed Kelly Tshibaka for U.S. Senate.

Spotted: Nick Begich was in Delta Junction attending Deltana Days and had a meet-and-greet in the evening. He was on the Dave Pruhs radio show in Fairbanks and was featured speaker at Friday Republican luncheon in Fairbanks. He is running for Congress.

Mary Peltola was blueberry berry picking in Bethel last weekend, then to Anchorage for Black Caucus of the Alaska Democrats, and now up to Fairbanks. She is running for Congress, for the Democrats.

Bill Walker and Heidi Drygas, pictured above, running for governor and lite gov, were spotted in Bethel meeting with a modest group; they were with Val Davidson, who was the push behind the expansion of Obamacare in Alaska, was the commissioner of Health and Social Services under Walker, when he was governor, and was briefly the lieutenant governor when LG Byron Mallott suddenly resigned in disgrace.

Events: Americans for Prosperity Alaska will be doing a seminar on Aug. 4 for anyone who wants to learn about ranked choice voting, the confusing new voting system brought to Alaska by outsiders. Americans for Prosperity Alaska doesn’t support the new system but is determined to help people understand how to vote with it. It’s a nonpartisan event.


  1. Are we witnessing a return of Chairman Bill? Does this mean that we will see a return of the catch and release system for Alaska? It hasn’t worked anywhere in the lower 48. A disturbing example is the attack in New York on the GOP gubernatorial candidate by a man that was out about 2 hours later. The weapon he had was a small sharp-edged knife-like weapon which he aimed at the candidate’s throat while he shouted “You’re done” If the candidate had not had Army training and managed to grab his assailant’s arm, he might have been dead. But under New York’s catch and release system, he was released with an assault charge, even though it showed in the video that the assailant was clearly trying to kill the candidate. SB91 was a disaster for Alaska, but are we going to see more of it under Walker? And what about the Green Agenda that the democrats are pushing? Walker may list himself as an “Independent,” but his running mate is a democrat. Birds of a feather flock together.

  2. It’s nothing short of astounding that anyone would align themselves with, or support Bill Walker, given his history of snuggling up with the CCP.
    These people are openly treasonous…..

  3. How to vote with ranked choice:
    Only vote your number one pick and leave the rest blank.
    One voter, one vote.

    • Eh, depends who gets through the primary. Dunleavy won’t be my first choice if Pierce and/or Kurka make the general – but I’ll at least rank him (unlike Walker).

    • That may be ok depending on the race however I would be careful about ONLY picking one. In the governor’s race, for example, there will be 4 candidates in the general election in November. Looks likely to be 2 republican and 2 democrat candidates. If you only put down one of the candidates that’s a republican and that one falls out then your vote is done. If you put down the other republican as your second vote even if not your preference then when (if) your primary candidate falls out after the first or second “round” you still get a “vote”. If all democrats put down a first and second choice for the 2 democrats likely to be on the ballot in November (and this will be their strategy) and a lot of republicans only put down one then the combination of the 1st and 2nd round votes for those democrats may very well be enough to put a democrat candidate over the top even if they don’t get more votes than the top republican vote getter on the first round. It’s one of the confusing and purposefully obscure things about RCV from those who created it. RCV makes it about a vote tabulation strategy instead of candidates positions on the issues. I still recommend in races with 3 or 4 candidates that you should “rank the red” in order of your preference for who they are. Unfortunately RCV has made it so.

    • So, let us just say you desire to support candidate Pierce. OK, an understandable selection. But what happens if Charlie Pierce comes in 4th. At that point your ballot is meaningless. In the next round among the surviving three candidates you are without a voice. You have no say in who becomes our governor. Ranking is not required but it does give you a say if your number one choice doesn’t make the cut in ruond 1. Think of it as like ordering from a menu. You really want a ribeye steak. Your mouth is watering when you order the steak. The waiter says, “oh shoot, we just sold the last ribey.” You can, of course, get up and leave or you can ask of the chicken is available. It really is your choice whether to go hungry or come up with the next best alternative, i.e., a candidate you may not adore but that is better than some of the other choices. Nothing requires you to fill in an alternate candidate as your second or even third or fourth choice. That’s your choice, but voting for a single candidate in the hope that your wish will come true is not very savvy.

  4. I have no idea what must have come to bad blood between Dunleavy and Jansen, but it’s a surprise to me. Barge freight rates have more than doubled in southeastern since competing companies merged into Jansen’s company, and therefore Jansen represents major industrial strength. Still, Walker is a crook and has been entirely discredited (hardly know where to begin in listing the reasons why) so I cannot imagine Walker, or Gara for that matter, gaining any real traction. Walker dissed our law and our constitution, and his abrupt PFD veto unsurprisingly turned politics into a perennial cat fight that persists to this day. Gara is as dogmatic as Bernie Sanders and Karl Marx. Gara will receive every vote that Sanders received in the Alaska 2016 D primary, but not a single vote more. Walker is as mentally sound and as honest as is Biden, but no more so. Gara is as bitter as Bernie, and would take our guns if given half a chance.

  5. I cannot imagine Walker’s campaign is doing so well as to merit him taking on a co-chair for his anemic campaign. Oh well, I guess a sucker is born every minute!

  6. Bill Walker is the ultimate lying politician. He’s flipped-flopped , like a pancake, on abortion from election to election. He is one of the dirtiest most negative campaigners; yet, he always accuses his opponents of such.
    He cannot be trusted.

  7. I believe Walker is another clandestine NWO order taker. Those who support the globalist agenda are deceived and complicit in the coming carefully orchestrated harms against this continent. President Trump is the only one attempting to stand up for American people and our way of life with liberty and equal opportunity for all. No one else is for this.

  8. I hope Bill Walker does a better job of screening pedophiles from his campaign this time around.

    • Perhaps if Walker somehow wins, Jim Jansen will recommend that Walker hire Governor Dunleavy to do the screening for the Attorney General position.

  9. It amazes me that anyone would support this guy. I get Democrats supporting Gara, but this guy…who supports him and why? He failed horribly as governor, horribly.

  10. Jim Jansen’s company is huge Marine Air Freight, trucking and other interest in Canada & the lower 48! He probably knows Walker will try to again get into our Permanent Funds and distribute the wealth to his cronies and Jansen will be at the top

  11. Best possible outcome would be that Walker does not make the final four after the August 16 primary.

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