The three-way race among Gov. Bill Walker, the nation’s lone Independent state chief executive, former US Senator Mark Begich (D), and ex-state Senator Mike Dunleavy (R) became official early this week. Though Walker supporters, including the state AFL-CIO, have been urging Mr. Begich to drop out of the race seeing that polls are uniformly finding Mr. Dunleavy would win a three-way race, he refused to do so.
The adverse split is occurring because Democrats and left-of-center voters are split between Gov. Walker and Mr. Begich, thus allowing the Republican base to push Mr. Dunleavy toward plurality support. In 2014, Mr. Walker and then-Democratic nominee Byron Mallot unified their ticket (Mallot agreed to run as Lt. Governor), which led to unseating then-Gov. Sean Parnell (R).
The state deadline allowing candidates to withdraw post-primary has now elapsed, and all three remain as candidates. It is still possible for a contender to leave the race, but now his name would remain on the ballot. Therefore, the Alaska Governor’s race continues as one of the most interesting statewide campaigns in the country.
The Rundown Blog
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