Independent Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, a Democrat, will run for re-election on the same independent “unity” ticket that sent them to Juneau in 2014, Mallott told KINY’s Pete Carran on Wednesday.
With plenty of talk about the governor’s re-election bid—including Walker’s own statement to the Associate Press last week of “I’m sure I’ll run again”—the two have been asked about their plans at almost every opportunity, including KINY’s Action Line.
“Well, we have both decided we will run again,” Mallott said. “You never say that in an absolute term because we have no idea what may occur. We have both worked to focus on the issues that we have been discussing here this morning: the Alaska budget fiscal circumstance.”
Mallott recounted how he and Walker had breakfast together on Tuesday and discussed their plans.
“Whatever we do, we’ll do together for sure,” he said.
“So for sure,” replied Carran,”you’ve definitely made up your mind to run again?”
“Yes,” said Mallott.
It’s about as official as you can get without an actual filing with the Division of Elections.
Return of the “Unity” ticket
Carran also asked whether the duo might try to run on a party’s ticket this time around.
“We began this process as what the press labeled as the ‘Unity’ ticket when our campaigns were joined,” he said. “It obviously was successful. It was interesting, Pete, in these two-and-a-half years in office—and I’ve been around a long time—the times that in discussing policy issues and all of the issues that affect our state the times that the words “Republican” or “Democrat” came up in those conversations you can probably count on both hands.”
The two men have become close throughout the campaign and time in office, a fact that Mallott frequently talks about. He wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to continue to heap praise on Walker.
“He is a very straight-forward guy, and I love working with him,” he said. “I can’t conceive of myself running for office in the future without being involved with Bill Walker.”
“So… OK,” Carran said. “That’ll be interesting to watch.”