Bill Walker (Alaska)

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Bill Walker
Bill Walker.jpg
General electionNovember 4, 2014
Candidate for
Governor
PartyIndependent
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
ProfessionAttorney
ReligionFaith Christian Community Church
Websites
Campaign website
Bill Walker campaign logo
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Bill Walker is an Independent candidate for Governor of Alaska in the 2014 elections. He is running on the Alaska First Unity Ticket with Byron Mallott in the general election. Mallott won the 2014 Democratic primary election for governor, but was rejected as the party's nominee by a vote of the Alaska Democratic Party's central committee on September 1 and transferred to a joint independent ticket alongside Walker, who ended his long-standing affiliation with the Republican Party as a condition of being accepted onto the consolidated ticket.

At the outset of the 2014 election season, Walker, a career member of the GOP, opted to run as an independent in order to bypass a tough primary against incumbent Republican Gov. Sean Parnell.[1] His original running mate was former deputy fish and game commissioner Craig Fleener.[2] In September 2014, Walker was put on the unity, dropping his Republican affiliation and Fleener as his running mate in the process.[3]

Walker is the founder of Walker Richards LLC law firm, where he has practiced since 1985.[4]

Elections

2014

See also: Alaska Gubernatorial election, 2014

Walker is running for election to the office of Governor on the Alaska First Unity Ticket alongside Democrat Byron Mallott. Walker was supposed to share the independent ticket with running mate Craig Fleener, until a September 1 vote of the Alaska Democratic Party central committee merged the Walker-led independent ticket with the Democratic ticket, pushing both Fleener and Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial nominee Hollis French off the ballot.[5]The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

Race background

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.

Parnell announced his intention to pursue another term as Alaska's chief executive official 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, meanwhile 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 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).[9][10]

Then, on September 1, the party's central committee voted 89-2 to reject the Mallott-led Democratic gubernatorial ticket and instead support an alternative "fusion" ticket pairing Mallott with independent candidate for governor Bill Walker.[11] 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, in addition to Walker's relinquishment of his Republican affiliation. Though Mallott lost the Democratic nomination and was demoted to the lieutenant governor slot, he, unlike Walker, was allowed to remain a registered Democrat.[12] Almost one year prior to the shuffle, the Alaska Democratic Party voted unanimously to back Mallott for governor. Indeed, 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."[13]

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.[11] The AFL-CIO, which is a leading contributor to campaigns in Alaska and nationwide, implied it would back a challenger on the condition that he would face a fair fight against Parnell in November.

Republican, Democratic, Alaskan Independence and Libertarian Party candidates do not need to petition to appear on the ballot in Alaska.[14] 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.[15][16]


Polls

Governor of Alaska
Poll Sean Parnell* (R) Bill Walker (I)Not sureMargin 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
AVERAGES 43.65% 42.55% 13.8% +/-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.
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.
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.
Governor of Alaska
Poll Sean Parnell* (R) Care Clift (L) (Poll 3 only)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.

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See also

External links

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References

  1. Daily News Miner, Walker planning to run as independent for Alaska governor, August 1, 2013
  2. The Anchorage Daily-News, "Walker chooses Fleener as running mate in Independent bid for governor," October 14, 2013
  3. Daily News Miner, Walker planning to run as independent for Alaska governor, August 1, 2013
  4. Bill Walker for Governor, Resume, accessed August 5, 2013
  5. Alaska Dispatch News, "Walker, Mallott to join forces in governor's race," September 1, 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. 11.0 11.1 Alaska Dispatch News, "Walker, Mallott to join forces in governor's race," September 1, 2014
  12. State of Alaska Division of Elections, "2014 General Election candidates," accessed September 5, 2014
  13. The Anchorage Daily-News, "Democrats endorse Mallott for governor," October 21, 2013
  14. Ballot Access News, "Alaska Gubernatorial Poll Suggests Constitution Party May Win Qualified Status for First Time," May 20, 2014
  15. Independent Political Report, "Constitution Party Candidate for Alaska," October 1, 2013
  16. J.R. Myers for Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "A Brief History of the Alaska Constitution Party (ACP)," accessed May 22, 2014