ALASKA
     Nov. 8, 2022 Governor

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Sen.2
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+Dunleavy/Dahlstrom (R) i
132,632
50.29%
Gara/Cook (D)
63,851
24.21%
Walker/Drygas (Non)
54,668
20.73%
Pierce/Grunwald (R) 11,817
4.46%

263,752

Registration: 601,795.  Ballots cast: 267,047.
Plurality: votes ( percentage points)

 AK Division of Elections



Notes: 
The 2022 elections were conducted using a nonpartisan top four primary election and ranked choice voting general election (>) as a result of Measure 2, which Alaska voters approved in Nov. 2020Gov. Michael Dunleavy (R), seeking re-election, defeated former state Rep. Les Gara (D), former Gov. Bill Walker (NP) and Kenai Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce (R). 

There were numerous forums including for example:

Sept. 1 - Dunleavy, Gara and Walker at a forum hosted by the Alaska Oil and Gas Association at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage (>);

Sept. 14 - Gara and Walker (remotely)
at the Southeast Conference annual meeting in Ketchikan (>);
 
Oct. 3 - Gara and Walker at the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce fisheries forum at the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium in Kodiak (>);

Oct. 11 - all four candidates at a forum hosted by the Resource Development Council at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage (>);

Oct. 19 - all four candidates participated in the televised Alaska Public Media debate (>).

Gara and Walker were particularly active on the campaign trail, Dunleavy less so, and Pierce ran a low-budget, low-key campaign.  At the end of Sept. 2022, Pierce resigned as mayor to focus on his campaign, although there were also reports of a workplace harassment claim, and in October a former assistant filed a lawsuit charging sexual harassment. 
 

Among the major issues discussed were the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD), abortion, the possibility of constitution convention (Ballot Measure 1), and school funding.

The Alaska vote count takes a long time; there is a 10-day window to receive absentee ballots mailed from within the U.S. (Nov. 18) and 15 days to receive absentee ballots from overseas (Nov. 23).  Once those are counted, if no candidate has achieved more than 50-percent of the vote, ranked choice tabulation occurs
(>).  Dunleavy  won without the election going to ranked choice voting.
 
Aug. 16 Top Four Primary
Ten candidates ran in the Aug. 16, 2022 primary (>).

Dunleavy endured some controversy during his first term.  In July 2019, following deep budget cuts, critics launched a petition to recall him.  The petitioning was interrupted by legal wrangling, and organizers ultimately ended the effort on Aug. 25, 2021.  Meanwhile on Aug. 13, 2021 Dunleavy said that he would run for re-election.  Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer announced in Dec. 2021 that he would not seek re-election, and on May 23, 2022 Dunleavy announced Commissioner of Corrections Nancy Dahlstrom as his running mate.

Former Gov. Bill Walker (NP) entered the race on Aug. 17, 2021, running with Heidi Drygas, former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.  Walker was elected governor as an independent in 2014 and served one term.  He suspended his 2018 re-election campaign shortly before Election Day and endorsed the Democrat Mark Begich.
 
Former state Rep. Les Gara (D) announced his candidacy on Aug. 20, 2021, and tabbed Jessica Cook, a elementary school teacher from Eagle River (suburban Anchorage), as his running mate on Feb. 14, 2022.  Gara was elected a state representative for downtown Anchorage in 2002; he served eight terms but did not seek re-election in 2018.  As an Assistant Attorney General he worked on the civil prosecution of Exxon following the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Kenai Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce (R) joined the field on Jan. 20, 2022, and named Edie Grunwald as his running mate on Mar. 7.  As part of its strategy for the new election process, the Alaska Republican Party, which endorsed Dunleavy in January, also endorsed Pierce in April.

Others candidates were David Haeg (R), John Wayne Howe (AKIP), Rep. Christopher Kurka (R), Williman Nemec (Undecl.), Billy Toien (L) and Bruce Walden (R).

Of 189,300 votes tallied, Dunleavy/Dahlstrom finished first with 40.43% followed by Gara/Cook (23.06%), Walker Drygas (22.77%) and Pierce/Grunwald (6.58%).




Campaign Managers:
Mike Dunleavy:  Jordan Shilling
Special assistant (from Dec. 2019) and communications specialist (Dec. 2018-Dec. 2019) in the Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy.  Also, owner of Alaska Targeting from Jan. 2012.  Legislative aide in the Alaska State Legislature, Jan. 2013-Dec. 2018.  B.A. in political science (2012) and A.A.S. in emergency services, paramedicine (2009) from University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Les Gara:  Nate Graham
(Aug. 2021)  Legislative aide for state Sen. Bill Wielechowski from Jan. 2017-Jan. 2022; also managed Wielechowski's 2020 re-election campaign.  Communications director on Vote Yes for Alaska's Fair Share, Aug. 2019-Nov. 2020; researcher on Dr. Al Gross for U.S. Senate, July-Nov. 2020.  B.A. in political science from University of Alaska Anchorage, 2017.

Bill Walker:  T.J. Presley
(Feb. 2022...campaign manager/consultant)  Deputy director of the Alaska Redistricting Board, Dec. 2020-Feb. 2022..  Legislative aide (Jan. 2011-Dec. 2020) and chief of staff (Sept. 2015-Oct. 2017) to several legislators in the Alaska State Legislature.  Policy advisor to the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas, Oct. 2017-Dec. 2018.  Campaign manager/consultant on statewide referendum campaign, Apr.-Aug. 2014.  General manager for Sodexo, managing a Starbucks in a large hospital, Jan. 2006-Jan. 2010.  Master's degree in business administration and management, finance from Alaska Pacific University; bachelor's degree in political science and government from University of Alaska Anchorage.


See also:
--.  "Dunleavy leads in latest fundraising in Alaska governor race."  AP, Oct. 12, 2022.

James Brooks.  "Pierce absent and Dunleavy infrequent as Walker and Gara rack up miles."  Alaska Beacon, Sept. 12, 2022.

Iris Samuels.  "Complaint alleges Dunleavy campaign engaged in 'scheme' to use public funds."  Anchorage Daily News, Sept. 6, 2022.

James Brooks.  "Charlie Pierce, Kenai Peninsula mayor, says he will resign to focus on governor bid."  Alaska Beacon, Aug. 26, 2022.

Ashlyn O'Hara.  "Alaska Republican Party endorses Pierce/Grunwald ticket."  Peninsula Clarion, Apr. 23, 2022.

Dermot Cole.  "Republican Governors Association hides real donors  in $3 million effort to back Dunleavy."  Reporting From Alaska, Feb. 15, 2022.

Dan Kaufman.  "Why Alaskans Are Trying to Recall Their Governor."  New Yorker, Mar. 5, 2020.

James Brooks.  "Dunleavy vetoes $444 million from operating budget."  Anchorage Daily News, June 28, 2019.



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