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Alaska Governor Suddenly Suspends His Campaign, Throws Support To Democrat

Lt. Governor abruptly resigned Tuesday over "inappropriate comments."

Just 18 days from a three-way election, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, a former Republican turned Independent, abruptly suspended his campaign and threw his support to the Democratic candidate, Mark Begich, who he said has "a better chance" of winning against the Republican.

Just over two weeks out, Walker and Begich were handily losing to Republican Michael Dunleavy in the state's three-way gubernatorial race, so on Friday night, Walker announced that he was dropping out and hoping his supporters would embrace the Democrat.

"With more time, I am confident that Val and I could deliver a message and a campaign that could earn a victory in this election," Walker wrote in an Instagram post. "But there are only 18 days remaining before election day. Absentee ballots have already been mailed, and Alaskans are already voting. In the time remaining, I believe we cannot win a three-way race."

He continued: "This week I have talked to many Alaskans to determine whether I or Mark Begich had a better chance of running a competitive race against Mike Dunleavy. The determination was made that, at this point, Begich has the better odds. Alaskans deserve a competitive race." Full post below:

Dear Alaskans, I ran for re-election because I still believe that, more than anything else, Alaska deserves integrity, honesty, and courage. Alaska First is, and cannot only be, a campaign slogan. When I said I ran for governor to do the job, not make the decisions to keep the job, I meant exactly what I said. Every decision I have made as your governor, I have made on the basis of what I believe is best for Alaska. With that said, effective today, I am suspending my campaign for re-election as Governor. With more time, I am confident that Val and I could deliver a message and a campaign that could earn a victory in this election. But there are only 18 days remaining before election day. Absentee ballots have already been mailed, and Alaskans are already voting. In the time remaining, I believe we cannot win a three-way race. This week I have talked to many Alaskans to determine whether I or Mark Begich had a better chance of running a competitive race against Mike Dunleavy. The determination was made that, at this point, Begich has the better odds. Alaskans deserve a competitive race. Alaskans deserve a choice other than Mike Dunleavy, whose record and campaign rhetoric indicate he will: eliminate Medicaid Expansion that has provided healthcare access to 44,000 Alaskans, created jobs and brought $1 billion federal dollars into the Alaskan economy while decreasing State healthcare expenditures by $16 million, kept hospitals from closing, and saved lives; defund the Alaska LNG Gasline project that has made historic progress, will create 12,000 high paying construction jobs, 88,000 direct and indirect jobs and deliver low cost energy to our homes and businesses; undo the bipartisan approved sustainable fiscal plan that has resulted in fiscal stability, significantly reduced the deficit, improved our credit rating and preserved the PFD program into perpetuity; cause our most vulnerable to suffer the brunt of the additional $1 billion in budget cuts he vows to make to education, rural Alaska and those receiving healthcare.

Dear Alaskans, I ran for re-election because I still believe that, more than anything else, Alaska deserves integrity, honesty, and courage. Alaska First is, and cannot only be, a campaign slogan. When I said I ran for governor to do the job, not make the decisions to keep the job, I meant exactly what I said. Every decision I have made as your governor, I have made on the basis of what I believe is best for Alaska. With that said, effective today, I am suspending my campaign for re-election as Governor. With more time, I am confident that Val and I could deliver a message and a campaign that could earn a victory in this election. But there are only 18 days remaining before election day. Absentee ballots have already been mailed, and Alaskans are already voting. In the time remaining, I believe we cannot win a three-way race. This week I have talked to many Alaskans to determine whether I or Mark Begich had a better chance of running a competitive race against Mike Dunleavy. The determination was made that, at this point, Begich has the better odds. Alaskans deserve a competitive race. Alaskans deserve a choice other than Mike Dunleavy, whose record and campaign rhetoric indicate he will: eliminate Medicaid Expansion that has provided healthcare access to 44,000 Alaskans, created jobs and brought $1 billion federal dollars into the Alaskan economy while decreasing State healthcare expenditures by $16 million, kept hospitals from closing, and saved lives; defund the Alaska LNG Gasline project that has made historic progress, will create 12,000 high paying construction jobs, 88,000 direct and indirect jobs and deliver low cost energy to our homes and businesses; undo the bipartisan approved sustainable fiscal plan that has resulted in fiscal stability, significantly reduced the deficit, improved our credit rating and preserved the PFD program into perpetuity; cause our most vulnerable to suffer the brunt of the additional $1 billion in budget cuts he vows to make to education, rural Alaska and those receiving healthcare. (Please see the rest of the speech in comments section)

A post shared by Walker for Alaska (@walkermallottforalaska) on

The announcement comes just three days after Walker's lieutenant governor Byron Mallott suddenly resigned, citing "inappropriate comments" that he apparently once made. No further explanation has been offered by Mallott or Walker.

With Walker out, Republican Dunleavy is still theoretically in the lead. According to Alaska Survey Research's latest poll (conducted Oct 12-14), Dunleavy holds a 7-point lead in a head-to-head against Begich, 52 - 45. A previous survey by the same group (conducted Oct 1-6) found Dunleavy ahead by 14 points, 55-41.

Related: Sen. Heitkamp Makes Her Massive #MeToo Mistake Even Worse With Possible FEC Violation

 
 
 

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