Brad Snowden

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Brad Snowden
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Former candidate for
Governor of Alaska
PartyRepublican
Elections and appointments
Last electionAugust 19, 2014
Term limitsN/A
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Brad Snowden was a Republican candidate for Governor of Alaska in the 2014 elections.[1]

Elections

2014

See also: Alaska Gubernatorial election, 2014

Snowden ran for election as Governor of Alaska. Snowden sought the Republican nomination in the primary on August 19, 2014, and was defeated by incumbent Sean Parnell.[1] The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

Republican primary - August 19, 2014

Governor of Alaska Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngSean Parnell Incumbent 75.5% 65,634
Russ Millette 10.6% 9,243
Brad Snowden 10.2% 8,824
Gerald L. "Tap" Heikes 3.7% 3,211
Total Votes 86,912
Election Results Via:Alaska Division of Elections. Vote totals above are unofficial and reflect 100% precincts reporting.

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

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.[2][3] 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.[4]

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.[5][6]

Republican, Democratic, Alaskan Independence and Libertarian Party candidates do not need to petition to appear on the ballot in Alaska.[7] 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.[8][9]

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 support an alternative "fusion" ticket pairing Mallott with independent candidate for governor Bill Walker.[10] 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.[11]

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."[12] 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.[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.[10] 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 bestow its support upon the newly formed team of challengers.

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 in 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.[14] 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/lieutenant gubernatorial race which was challenged and ultimately upheld by the Alaska Supreme Court. In that case, the Alaskan Independence Party gubernatorial/lieutenant gubernatorial candidates 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 governor race.[15]

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See also

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 State of Alaska Division of Elections, "August 19, 2014 Primary Candidate List," accessed June 12, 2013
  2. Anchorage Daily News, "Parnell says he'll seek re-election as governor," May 3, 2013
  3. Juneau Empire, "Treadwell: 'No interest' in primary against Parnell," December 4, 2012
  4. Cook Political Report, "2014 Governors Race Ratings," May 16, 2014
  5. Ballot Access News, "Constitution Party Has Enough Valid Signatures in Alaska," August 25, 2014
  6. State of Alaska Division of Elections, "August 19, 2014 Primary Candidate List," accessed August 19, 2014
  7. Ballot Access News, "Alaska Gubernatorial Poll Suggests Constitution Party May Win Qualified Status for First Time," May 20, 2014
  8. Independent Political Report, "Constitution Party Candidate for Alaska," October 1, 2013
  9. J.R. Myers for Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "A Brief History of the Alaska Constitution Party (ACP)," accessed May 22, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 Alaska Dispatch News, "Walker, Mallott to join forces in governor's race," September 1, 2014
  11. The Anchorage Daily-News, "Walker chooses Fleener as running mate in Independent bid for governor," October 14, 2013
  12. The Anchorage Daily-News, "Democrats endorse Mallott for governor," October 21, 2013
  13. State of Alaska Division of Elections, "2014 General Election candidates," accessed September 5, 2014
  14. Tribtown.com, "Expedited ruling sought in lawsuit alleging error in Alaska governor's race decision," September 18, 2014
  15. Alaska Dispatch News, "Judge rules Walker-Mallott ticket can stand," September 26, 2014