As Walker hints at re-election run, Mallott says he’s in for round two

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott and Gov. Bill Walker participate in a news conference early during their tenure.

Over the last few days, independent Gov. Bill Walker has pretty much confirmed that he’ll be running for re-election next year. In an interview with the Associated Press last week he said “I’m sure I’ll run again.”

What’s been unclear, however, is what the Republican-turned-independent governor plans for his re-election campaign.

His 2014 victory was the culmination of a number of extraordinary factors, chief among them the merger between his independent ticket and now-Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott’s Democratic ticket. Walker hasn’t tipped his hand over whether he hopes to recreate such magic next year, but at the very least Mallott is willing to come along for the ride.

The duo appeared on Alaska Public Media’s Talk of Alaska today, where host Lori Townsend asked about reelection plans. Walker was generally coy, saying he hopes not to “tangle up our decision going forward with the work that has to be done.”

Mallott interjected, to say he hoped Walker wasn’t using the royal “we.” Everyone laughed, before Mallott continued to make the pitch for another Walker and Mallott ticket.

“I just love this job because I have the opportunity to work with with Gov. Walker, and where he goes I will go,” he said.

So whatever the plans are, count Mallott game.

Timing of the announcement

While Walker has been vague on the details of his re-election plans, he did say we won’t have to wait much longer.

“I don’t have a specific date or time line of when that’s going to take place, I think it will certainly be this summer sometime,” he told Townsend. “But as far as a hard date, I don’t really have that today.”

Walker still has big plans for his remaining time in office, and plans to continue to push for a fiscal plan. According to the Associated Press interview, Walker plans to propose some sort of to-be-determined tax bill to legislators later this year.

He told Townsend that he hopes his re-election bid doesn’t interfere with his continuing legislative goals.

“What we didn’t want to do is sort of tangle up our decision going forward with the work that has to be done,” he said. “There’s a lot to be done as governor, so I want to make sure the timing is such that it doesn’t deter us away from the job that we do every day.”

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