Brad Snowden

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Brad Snowden
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Former candidate for
Governor of Alaska
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]



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 took 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 75.9% 80,903
Russ Millette 10.6% 11,296
Brad Snowden 9.9% 10,594
Gerald L. "Tap" Heikes 3.6% 3,855
Total Votes 106,648
Election Results Via:Alaska Division of Elections.

Race background

  • 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
  • November 14, 2014: Walker and Mallott are declared the winners of the heavily contested race, 10 days after the general election.

Republican incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell was first elected in 2010 and sought a second term in 2014. Parnell considered 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, while 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 ultimately lost the November 4 general election to Republican-turned-Independent Bill Walker. The outcome of the close gubernatorial race remained unknown 10 days after the polls closed as additional ballots were counted.[5]

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.[6][7]

Republican, Democratic, Alaskan Independence and Libertarian Party candidates do not need to petition to appear on the ballot in Alaska.[8] This year, Alaska Constitution Party Chairman J.R. Myers, the party's first viable candidate for governor since its establishment in 2010, wanted 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 earned a minimum of 3 percent of the 2014 general election vote, the Constitution Party would have been reclassified from a political group to a political party and shared 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. Myers garnered 2.5 percent of the vote by the end of the vote count, falling short of the minimum threshold.[9][10]

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.[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, who resigned from his post as state deputy fish and game commissioner to run with Walker.[12] Walker and Mallott won the general election by a 2 percent margin.

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."[13] 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.[14]

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 get involved if circumstances presented a fair fight against Parnell in November, and indeed went on to support the newly formed ticket.


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.[15] 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.[16]


Bill Walker received the endorsement of former Gov. Sarah Palin (R) prior to the general election.[17]

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  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 (dead link)
  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. Alaska Division of Elections, "2014 General Election Results," accessed November 17, 2014
  6. Ballot Access News, "Constitution Party Has Enough Valid Signatures in Alaska," August 25, 2014
  7. State of Alaska Division of Elections, "August 19, 2014 Primary Candidate List," accessed August 19, 2014
  8. Ballot Access News, "Alaska Gubernatorial Poll Suggests Constitution Party May Win Qualified Status for First Time," May 20, 2014
  9. Independent Political Report, "Constitution Party Candidate for Alaska," October 1, 2013
  10. J.R. Myers for Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "A Brief History of the Alaska Constitution Party (ACP)," accessed May 22, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 Alaska Dispatch News, "Walker, Mallott to join forces in governor's race," September 1, 2014
  12. The Anchorage Daily-News, "Walker chooses Fleener as running mate in Independent bid for governor," October 14, 2013
  13. The Anchorage Daily-News, "Democrats endorse Mallott for governor," October 21, 2013
  14. State of Alaska Division of Elections, "2014 General Election candidates," accessed September 5, 2014
  15., "Expedited ruling sought in lawsuit alleging error in Alaska governor's race decision," September 18, 2014
  16. Alaska Dispatch News, "Judge rules Walker-Mallott ticket can stand," September 26, 2014
  17. National Journal, "Palin Endorses Independent-Democratic Ticket for Alaska Governor Against GOP Successor," October 24, 2014