Alaska Governor: Revised Bottom Line

In 2014, independent candidate Bill Walker upset GOP incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell, 48 percent to 46 percent. Since taking office, Walker hasn’t aligned himself with either party – at least until recently – and polls show that voters aren’t especially happy with his performance in office. Walker recently announced that he would be a candidate in the Democratic primary, but he intends to remain an independent, even if he wins the nomination.  What Walker hopes to achieve is a two-way race, which he believes is a more winnable situation for him.  Until Walker’s announcement, Democrats seemed content to sit this race out. That said, they don’t appear ready to embrace him, as he seems to be committed to remaining an independent.  Former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has also been looking at the primary contest, but the race is probably a lot less appealing now. Republicans plan to contest the seat and there are some very credible candidates running, including former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy. The primary isn’t until August 21, so contests tend to develop late.  Thus, there might not be much to report until the filing deadline closes on June 1, despite the fact that the race is in the Toss Up column.