ALASKA
     Nov. 6, 2018 Governor

Gov.
Sen.3
Sen.2
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+Dunleavy/Meyer (R)
145,631
51.44%
Begich/Call (D)
125,739
44.41%
Walker/Mallott (NA) i
5,757
2.03%
Toien/Clift (L)
5,402
1.91%
w/ins
605


283,134

Registered Voters 571,851 - Cards Cast 285,009  49.84%
Plurality 19,892 votes (7.03 percentage points).
 AK Division of Elections




REPUBLICAN PICK-UP
Notes
: The 2018 governor's race in Alaska was full of twists and turns.  Gov. Bill Walker, the nation's only independent governor, and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott were seeking re-election.  Walker had unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in 2010, and in Sept. 2014 he teamed with Mallott, who
had been the Democratic nominee for governor  to form the Alaska First Unity ticket.

Walker had been set to run as a candidate in the Democratic primary.  However on June 1, the day of the filing deadline, former Anchorage Mayor (2003-09) and U.S. Senator (2009-15) Mark Begich (D) announced his candidacy via email, and Walker opted for the independent route.  Also on June 1 former Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination, posing a challenge to the leading candidate former Sen. Mike Dunleavy. 
Dunleavy, from Wasilla, served five years in the state Senate until resigning in Jan. 2018 to focus on his campaign.

A major issue was the Permanent Fund Dividend; Walker signed a hard-won budget compromise and legislation affecting the dividend on June 13.  Crime was also an issue; in Jan. 2018 the 24/7 Wall Street website released a report using data from the FBI 2016 Uniform Crime Report, labelling Alaska as "the most dangerous state."

Begich, was unchallenged in the Aug. 21 primary, while Dunleavy defeated Treadwell by 61.52% to 32.00%.  Begich had selected as his running mate, Debra Call, an official of the Knik Village and Cook Inlet tribal councils.  Dunleavy tabbed Sen. Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage) as his running mate. 
A three way race was set, but there was pressure on Begich to withdraw.  A petition circulated, praising Walker and Mallot for having "displayed strong leadership and...made difficult decisions."  "We believe you [Begich] would essentially serve as a 'spoiler,' paving the way for Republican Mike Dunleavy to be elected governor," the petition stated.  On Aug. 24 the Alaska AFL-CIO endorsed Walker.  The deadline for candidates to withdraw was Sept. 4.  Begich stayed in.

There were quite a few debates and forums. Dunleavy skipped several of the events, and the Walker campaign sought to make an issue of this. The three candidates debated on Sept. 10 at the Dena'ina Center in Anchorage (+) and on Oct. 16 hosted by the Anchorage Rotary Club (+).


On Oct. 16 shortly after the Rotary forum, Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott suddenly resigned due to "inappropriate comments."  (Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson was sworn in as lieutenant governor).  Three days later, on Oct. 19, in a speech at the Alaska Federation of Natives conference, Gov. Walker suspended his campaign and endorsed the Begich.  "[T]here are only 18 days remaining before election day," Walker said.  "Absentee ballots have already been mailed, and Alaskans are already voting. In the time remaining, I believe we cannot win a three-way race." 
Begich and Dunleavy then participated in a half-hour, head-to-head debate (+On Oct. 25 Begich and Dunleavy participated in a second one-on-one debate presented by Alaska Public Media and Channel 2 News  (+).

Campaign Managers:
Mike Dunleavy:  Brett Huber

(Dec. 2017, announced Jan. 4, 2018)  Policy advisor to Sen. Pete Kelly (R-Fairbanks)/Senate Finance Committee, from Jan. 2016.  From Nov. 2012-Nov. 2014 served as chief of staff in the Alaska Senate to Sen. Rick Halford and the Senate Resources Committee, Sen. Lesil McGuire and the Senate Rules Committee; and to Sen. Dunleavy.  President of the Alaska Outdoor Council and AOC Political Action Committee.  Executive director of the Kenai River Sportfishing Association.  Program director for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Mark Begich:
  Nora P. Morse
Experience includes special assistant/press assistant for Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz.  Undergraduate degree in Communications, Law, Economics and Government from American University; interned for Sens. Murkowski and Begich.  Lifelong Anchorage resident.
 

Bill Walker:  John-Henry Heckendorn
Before starting as campaign manager, Heckendorn worked for a year as special assistant to Gov. Walker. Co-founder (2014) of Ship Creek Group, a political consulting firm.  B.A. degrees in politics and economics from Whitman College, 2012.






(suspended campaign Oct. 19)

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