This is great news!
With less than three weeks to go before the midterm elections Alaska’s governor Bill Walker has decided to drop out of the race and endorse his Democratic challenger, Mark Begich.
Walker’s announcement comes just days after his running mate, former Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott dropped out of the race because of “inappropriate comments” made to a woman.
The Anchorage Daily News reported on Friday that Walker announced, “Effective today I am suspending my campaign,” at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention.
“In the time remaining, it has become clear we cannot win a three-way race,” he said. “The decision was made that at this point, Begich has the better odds. Alaskans deserve a competitive race and Alaskans deserve a choice other than Mike Dunleavy.”
Walker is a former Republican turned Independent. And he was running for reelection for his second term against Republican Mike Dunleavy and Democrat Mark Begich.
Executive Director Elisabeth Pearson of the Democratic Governors Association said in a statement, “This is a game changer in the Alaska Governor’s race. This race immediately becomes a tossup, open-seat race between a popular Democrat in Mark Begich and a fringe Republican in Mike Dunleavy.”
A new poll released this week by Alaska Survey Research showed that Dunleavy was leading with 43%. Walker was at 26.6% and Begich was at 26.4%.
But an analysis in the poll of a hypothetical match-up between Dunleavy and Begich brought the race much tighter with the Republican leading the Dem by just 7 points, 52%-45%.
This move by Walker just put Alaska in play for the Dems.
Early voting in Alaska begins Monday.
Featured image via screengrab from YouTube