Alaska's Governor Bill Walker ended his underdog bid for a second term on Friday to ensure that either Democrats or Republicans retire from an office held by the country's only independent state chief executive.
"When I said that I ran governor to do the work, not to make the decisions to retain the job, I meant exactly what I said," Walker said in a statement after the announcement the voters in Anchorage. "The ballots have already been dispatched and the Alaskans are already voting, and in the remainder of the time, I think we can not win a three-way race."
On Tuesday, Walker's lieutenant-governor resigned for "insulting comments," though his Office did not say what they were. A new Lieutenant Governor, Valerie Davidson, was in office only days before Walker made his announcement
Walker, who was elected in 2014 after convincing Democratic candidate this year to become his lieutenant governor, urged Alaska, the Republican top candidate Rejecting Mike Dunleavy and the Democratic candidate Mark Begich, who was US Senator from 2009 to 2015 and jumped into the governors' race four months ago,
Dunleavy, as Walker, threatened to unravel Alaska's Medicaid expansion, make new budget cuts and the Relations between the State and Native Americans Worsen
"I am convinced that, despite my many differences with Mark Begich, my attitude to the above important issues is more in line with my priorities for Alaska," Walker said in his statement. 19659008] Republicans responded to the news with contempt, saying That Walker had given up a race he clearly could not win. Tracking polls had found Walker polling below 30 percent and dropped to third place behind Begich.
"Bill Walker takes the coward route, does not change anything," said Republican Governors Association spokesman Jon Thompson. Republicans will win the governorship on November 6 and tidy Bill Walker's mess. "
According to the bipartisan election program of the United States, 22,745 voters had already asked for election ballot in November; on Friday morning, 1,184 had sent them back.
Walker, who won the 2014 election with only 2.2 points over a Republican incumbent, had become unpopular within months of taking office. The state spent most of its term in a recession, exacerbated by low oil prices. Walker increased taxes and cut expenses in a tax plan that saw cuts in the state's annual Permanent Fund Dividend, checks sent to all Alaskans.
"I reduced the PFD in 2016, so the legislature found the courage to compromise on the financial plan," Walker said in a July column for the Anchorage Daily News. "It has allowed us to promote education rather than teasing our teachers at the end of each school year, allowing us to bring much-needed prosecutors and soldiers into the fight against opioids."
The Democrats, encouraged by Begichs Election polls said Walker's decision could give the party the best shot in the governor's office in 20 years. Independents who took Walker as a model for what was possible outside the party system said he had fulfilled his election promises. Unite America, a group formed to elect more independents, had supported Walker for a new term and established an independent spending group to help him.
"We welcome Governor Walker for always placing his state's interests above any personal or partisan interest, including in his decision to suspend his campaign," said Charles Wheelan, founder and co-chair of Unite America. "Governor Walker will remain a model of independent leadership for others across the country, and Unite America was proud to have supported him."