Gov. Bill Walker Drops Out Of Alaska Gubernatorial Race Less Than 3 Weeks Before Election

The independent governor endorsed his Democratic opponent, former Sen. Mark Begich, who is now in a tight race with Republican Mike Dunleavy.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I) suspended his re-election campaign on Friday.

Walker, an independent, first announced the news at an Alaska Federation of Natives conference and elaborated on his decision in an Instagram post

“Every decision I have made as your governor, I have made on the basis of what I believe is best for Alaska. With that said, effective today, I am suspending my campaign for re-election as Governor,” Walker wrote in the post.

With more time, I am confident that [Lieutenant Gov. Valerie Davidson] and I could deliver a message and a campaign that could earn a victory in this election. But there are only 18 days remaining before election day. … In the time remaining, I believe we cannot win a three-way race.” 

Walker’s departure sets up a tight competition between former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R) and former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (D).  

Walker endorsed Begich in his Instagram post, noting that Dunleavy has been critical of the expansion of Medicaid. Walker had been touting the Medicaid expansion in his state as a major accomplishment of his administration.

His announcement comes just three days after the state’s lieutenant governor, Byron Mallott (D), abruptly resigned due to unspecified “inappropriate comments.” Davidson hinted at a press conference that Mallott’s comments may have been related to women.

Last month, Walker had announced his opposition to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward with allegations that Kavanaugh had tried to rape her in high school, and two other women also accused him of sexual misconduct. 

Walker was elected governor in 2014. He was previously a lawyer and a mayor of the city of Valdez, Alaska. 

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