Bill Walker (Alaska)

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This election page was last edited at 3:51 pm October 30, 2014.
Bill Walker
Bill Walker.jpg
Candidate for
Governor of Alaska
PartyIndependent
Elections and appointments
Last electionAugust 24, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Mayor of Valdez
1979
Valdez City Council
1977-1979
Education
High schoolValdez High School (1969)
Bachelor'sLewis and Clark College, Portland (1973) (Business Administration)
J.D.University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University) (1983)
Personal
Place of birthFairbanks, Alaska
ProfessionAttorney; Businessman
ReligionFaith Christian Community Church
Websites
Personal website
Campaign website
Bill Walker campaign logo
Bill Walker is an Independent candidate for Governor of Alaska in the 2014 elections. He is running on the Alaska First Unity Ticket with lieutenant gubernatorial mate Byron Mallott in the general election. Walker was forced to end his long-standing affiliation with the Republican Party as a condition of joining the consolidated ticket.[1] The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

A career member of the GOP, Walker first sought the governor's office in 2010 on the Republican ticket and lost the party's primary nomination to incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell (R). For his 2014 bid, Walker opted to run as an independent in order to bypass another tough primary against Parnell.[2]

In September 2014, Walker accepted a slot on the Alaska First Unity Ticket with Democrat Byron Mallott, dropping both his Republican registration and former running mate in the process. Mallott actually won the August Democratic gubernatorial primary election, but the party's central committee later rejected Mallott as the party's nominee and reassigned him to the lieutenant governor slot on the fusion ticket alongside Walker.[1]

Walker is the founder of Walker Richards LLC law firm, where he has practiced since 1995. He specializes in oil and gas law and municipal law.[3] He was also the youngest ever Mayor of Valdez, serving in 1979 at age 27.[4]

Biography

An Alaska native, Walker was born in Fairbanks and grew up in Delta Junction and Valdez. Following his graduation from Valdez High School in 1969, Walker left his home state for Portland, Ore., where he attended Lewis and Clark College and received a B.S. in business administration in 1973. In 1983, Walker graduated from the University of Puget Sound School of Law, which is known today as Seattle University.[3]

Between college and law school, Walker made his first foray into politics when he ran successfully for a seat on the Valdez City Council. Two years later, 27-year-old Walker became the youngest-ever Mayor of Valdez.[4]

Since 1995, Walker has owned and practiced at Richards LLC law firm, honing his knowledge of oil and gas and municipal law through experiences providing counsel to the Alaska Gasline Port Authority and various municipalities across Alaska.[3] Prior to opening his firm with his wife, Walker was a managing partner for the firm of Hughes, Thorsness, Gantz, Powell, and Brundin and served as Municipal Law Department Chair.

Walker spent four years as a Trans-Alaska Pipeline construction worker and member of Alaska Laborers’, Carpenters’ and Teamsters’ Unions before founding his own Valdez-based construction company in 1975. His previous work experience also includes one year as a commercial fisherman.[3]

Education

  • Valdez High School (1969)
  • B.S. in business administration - Lewis and Clark College, Portland (1973)
  • J.D. - University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University) (1983)

Political career

Valdez Mayor (1979)

In 1979, two years after winning a seat on the Valdez City Council, Walker became the youngest person to serve as Mayor of Valdez.[5]

Valdez City Council (1977-1979)

Walker was first elected to the Valdez City Council in 1977.[5]

Elections

2014

See also: Alaska Gubernatorial election, 2014 and United States Congress elections, 2014

Walker is running for election to the office of Governor of Alaska on the Alaska First Unity Ticket. His lieutenant gubernatorial running mate is Democrat Byron Mallott.

The Alaska Democratic Party central committee voted in September 2014 to merge the Walker-led independent ticket with the Democratic ticket, believing it would set up a more contentious challenge for incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell (R), who is is running for a second term in 2014. Parnell first won the office in the November 2010 general election after defeating Walker and several others in the Republican primary.[1]

Walker faces Parnell (Republican), Carolyn "Care" Clift (Libertarian) and J.R. Myers (Alaska Constitution Party) in the general election. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

Race background

Timeline
  • May 3, 2013: Incumbent Sean Parnell (R) announces bid for re-election as Alaska Governor
  • October 20, 2013: Alaska Democratic Party's central committee votes unanimously to back Democratic candidate Byron Mallott, the party's earliest ever gubernatorial endorsement vote
  • August 19, 2014: Parnell re-nominated in Republican primary; Mallott wins ADL primary
  • August 19, 2014: Alaska Constitution Party candidate J.R. Myers certified to appear on ballot
  • September 1, 2014: Alaska Democratic Party's central committee votes 89-2 to reject the Mallott-led Democratic gubernatorial ticket; forms "Alaska First Unity Ticket" led by Bill Walker (I), with Mallott as Lt. Gov.
  • September 17, 2014: Alaska Republican Party district chair files lawsuit against state election authorities for allowing ticket merger
  • September 26, 2014: Unity ticket upheld by Alaska Superior Court Judge John Suddock
  • October 21, 2014: Former Republican Gov. Sarah Palin endorses independent unity ticket of Walker and Mallott

Republican incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell was first elected in 2010 and is seeking a second term in 2014. Parnell considered mounting a bid for Congress in the 2014 electoral cycle, but ultimately settled on running for re-election as governor, announcing his decision in May 2013.[6][7] By the following May, Parnell appeared to be in strong standing for re-election. A Public Policy Poll showed the incumbent leading three potential general election opponents by at least 10 points, while The Cook Political Report released another round of 2014 governors race ratings and labeled the Alaska Governor seat as "Solid Republican" under Parnell.[8]

Parnell defeated three challengers - Gerald L. "Tap" Heikes, Russ Millette and Brad Snowden - to secure the Republican Party's re-nomination in the August 19 primary. The Democratic-Libertarian-Independence (or "ADL") primary ballot included Democrats Byron Mallott and Phil Stoddard, as well as uncontested Libertarian nominee Carolyn "Care" Clift. Mallott received the highest number of votes in the ADL primary, and was set to advance as the Democratic nominee to the general election along with Parnell, Clift, Bill Walker (independent) and J.R. Myers (Alaska Constitution Party), until a ticket merger with Walker relegated him to the lieutenant governor spot.[9][10]

Republican, Democratic, Alaskan Independence and Libertarian Party candidates do not need to petition to appear on the ballot in Alaska.[11] This year, Alaska Constitution Party Chairman J.R. Myers, the party's first viable candidate for governor since its establishment in 2010, wants to add the Alaska Constitution Party to the list. Myers succeeded in submitting the required 3,017 valid petition signatures by August 19 for a place on the November ballot. If he earns a minimum of 3 percent of the 2014 general election vote, the Constitution Party will be reclassified from a political group to a political party and share the same ballot access privileges as the existing four qualified parties. The Alaska Constitution Party was previously affiliated with the Alaskan Independence Party, of which Myers served two years as vice chairman.[12][13]

Fusion ticket

Weeks after the primary, the State Democratic Party's central committee voted 89-2 to reject the Mallott-led Democratic gubernatorial ticket and instead supported an alternative "fusion" ticket pairing Mallott with independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker.[14] The spontaneous formation of the Walker/Mallott "Alaska First Unity Ticket" caused a dramatic shakeup of the general election tickets for both governor and lieutenant governor, since it necessitated the withdrawal of two qualified candidates, Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial nominee Hollis French and Walker's original running mate Craig Fleener, who resigned from his post as state deputy fish and game commissioner to run with Walker.[15]

Almost one year prior to the shuffle, the Alaska Democratic Party voted unanimously to back Mallott for governor. The party stated that Mallott's was their earliest ever gubernatorial endorsement vote, citing the members' approval of the candidate's "public service, business experience and 'progressive' values."[16] Though eventually stripped of the Democratic nomination and demoted to the lieutenant governor slot, Mallott, chose to retain his membership with the party through the merger, an option not afforded to Walker, who was forced to relinquish his Republican Party registration.[17]

One of the driving forces behind the ticket merger was the Alaska AFL-CIO's decision to boycott the three-way governor's race, echoing the popular complaint among Parnell opponents that the overcrowded arrangement essentially rigged the election in favor of the incumbent.[14] The AFL-CIO, which is a leading contributor to campaigns in Alaska and nationwide, implied it would get involved if circumstances presented a fair fight against Parnell in November, and indeed went on to support the newly formed ticket.

Lawsuit

Soon after state election chief Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and the Alaska Division of Elections granted permission for the campaigns to join forces on September 2, Steven Strait, a district chair for the Alaska Republican Party, filed a lawsuit challenging the order and requesting the ballot be restored to its pre-merger state. The original lineup gave Parnell a distinct advantage, but Strait and other lawsuit proponents insisted the challenge was not politically motivated. "French and Fleener did not resign as candidates for lieutenant governor out of any emergency, but instead resigned solely because they were asked and pressured to do so," Strait asserted, in contrast with the precedent-setting 2006 case wherein an independent lieutenant gubernatorial candidate quit the race at the eleventh hour and the State Division of Elections issued an emergency regulation to give his running mate, Andrew Halcro, the chance to name a replacement.[18] As thousands of overseas ballots had already been mailed, an expedited ruling was scheduled for September 26, whereupon Alaska Superior Court Judge John Suddock decided in favor of the elections authorities. To back up his ruling, Suddock cited a different precedent than the one Strait put forth, involving a similar ballot reconfiguration during the 1990 gubernatorial race which was challenged and ultimately upheld by the Alaska Supreme Court. In that case, the Alaskan Independence Party ticket bowed out and the Republican nominees for governor and lieutenant governor joined forces to take over their ticket, requiring the latter to withdraw from the lieutenant gubernatorial race.[19]

Endorsements

Bill Walker received the endorsement of former Gov. Sarah Palin (R) prior to the general election.[20]

Polls

General election
All candidates

Governor of Alaska: All candidates
Poll Sean Parnell* (R) Bill Walker (I)Carolyn "Care" Clift (L)J.R. Myers (C)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling
September 18-21, 2014
41%42%3%2%13%+/--880
HAI
September 26-October 2, 2014
46%38%4%2%10%+/-4.9400
Hellenthal & Associates
October 15-21, 2014
44.3%42.5%3.8%0.8%8.6%+/-4.88403
AVERAGES 43.77% 40.83% 3.6% 1.6% 10.53% +/--0.01 561
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)
Parnell vs. Walker

Governor of Alaska: Parnell vs. Walker
Poll Sean Parnell* (R) Bill Walker (I)Undecided/OtherMargin of ErrorSample Size
Ivan Moore Research Poll (Internal)
June 19-23, 2014
46.3%45.1%8.6%+/-4.05584
Public Policy Poll
July 31-August 3, 2014
41%40%19%+/-3.8673
Hays Research/Walker (I)
August 20-22, 2014
40%43%15%+/-4.5474
Hays Research (D-Alaska AFL-CIO/Walker)
September 13-14, 2014
30%37%31%+/-4.38500
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
September 20-October 1, 2014
40%45%15%+/-5593
CNN/ORC
October 1-6, 2014
45%51%4%+/-31,015
Rasmussen Reports
October 8-12, 2014
41%50%9%+/-4700
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
October 16-23, 2014
42%39%20%+/-9561
AVERAGES 40.66% 43.76% 15.2% +/-4.72 637.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)
Hypothetical match-ups
Hypothetical match-up: Parnell vs. Mallott

Governor of Alaska
Poll Sean Parnell* (R) Byron Mallott (D)Not sureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Ivan Moore Research Poll (Internal)
June 19-23, 2014
34.0%54.9%11.1%+/-4.05584
Public Policy Poll
July 31-August 3, 2014
48%37%14%+/-3.8673
AVERAGES 41% 45.95% 12.55% +/-3.93 628.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)
Hypothetical match-up: Parnell vs. Mallott vs. Walker

Governor of Alaska
Poll Sean Parnell* (R) Byron Mallott (D)Bill Walker (I)Not sureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Ivan Moore Research Poll (Internal)
June 19-23, 2014
42%16%29%13%+/-4.05584
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)
Hypothetical match-up: Five-way race

Governor of Alaska
Poll Sean Parnell* (R) Care Clift (L)Byron Mallott (D)J.R. Myers (C)Bill Walker (I)Not sureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling
January 30-February 1, 2014
41%0%25%3%16%15%+/-3.4850
Public Policy Pollingl
May 8-11, 2014
37%0%27%4%17%15%+/-4.1582
Public Policy Polling
July 31-August 3, 2014
37%3%22%2%20%16%+/-3.8673
AVERAGES 38.33% 1% 24.67% 3% 17.67% 15.33% +/-3.77 701.67
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)
**Due to the nature of the comparison, a placeholder figure of 0% is assigned to candidates not included in any given match-up round

Campaign ads


Let's Go to Work - Published 8/13/2014

Bill Walker Deficit Ad - Published 6/10/2014

Bill Walker Bridge Ad - Published 5/30/2014

2010

See also: Alaska gubernatorial election, 2010 and Gubernatorial elections, 2010

Walker ran as a Republican candidate for Alaska Governor in the 2010 elections. He faced Sean Parnell and four others in the Republican primary on August 24, 2010, and garnered 33.95 percent of the vote, coming in second to Parnell, who won with 49.49 percent. Primary

2010 Race for Governor - Republican Primary[21]
Candidates Percentage
Gerald L. Heikes (R) 0.40%
Merica Hlatcu (R) 0.56%
Sam Little (R) 1.54%
Green check mark.jpg Sean Parnell (R) 49.49%
Ralph Samuels (R) 14.05%
Bill Walker (R) 33.95%
Total votes 88,423

Personal

Walker resides in Anchorage with his wife, Donna, and their four children.[4]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Alaska Dispatch News, "Walker, Mallott to join forces in governor's race," September 1, 2014
  2. Daily News Miner, Walker planning to run as independent for Alaska governor, August 1, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Bill Walker for Governor, "Resume," accessed August 5, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Walker/Mallott 2014 Official campaign website, "Why I'm Running," accessed September 23, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 Walker/Mallott for Alaska 2014 Official campaign website, "My Story," accessed September 23, 2014
  6. Anchorage Daily News, "Parnell says he'll seek re-election as governor," May 3, 2013
  7. Juneau Empire, "Treadwell: 'No interest' in primary against Parnell," December 4, 2012
  8. Cook Political Report, "2014 Governors Race Ratings," May 16, 2014
  9. Ballot Access News, "Constitution Party Has Enough Valid Signatures in Alaska," August 25, 2014
  10. State of Alaska Division of Elections, "August 19, 2014 Primary Candidate List," accessed August 19, 2014
  11. Ballot Access News, "Alaska Gubernatorial Poll Suggests Constitution Party May Win Qualified Status for First Time," May 20, 2014
  12. Independent Political Report, "Constitution Party Candidate for Alaska," October 1, 2013
  13. J.R. Myers for Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "A Brief History of the Alaska Constitution Party (ACP)," accessed May 22, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 Alaska Dispatch News, "Walker, Mallott to join forces in governor's race," September 1, 2014
  15. The Anchorage Daily-News, "Walker chooses Fleener as running mate in Independent bid for governor," October 14, 2013
  16. The Anchorage Daily-News, "Democrats endorse Mallott for governor," October 21, 2013
  17. State of Alaska Division of Elections, "2014 General Election candidates," accessed September 5, 2014
  18. Tribtown.com, "Expedited ruling sought in lawsuit alleging error in Alaska governor's race decision," September 18, 2014
  19. Alaska Dispatch News, "Judge rules Walker-Mallott ticket can stand," September 26, 2014
  20. National Journal, "Palin Endorses Independent-Democratic Ticket for Alaska Governor Against GOP Successor," October 24, 2014
  21. State of Alaska Division of Elections, “August 24, 2010 Primary Election Results, Governor”, August 24, 2010