Walker wins Alaska governor’s race after Friday ballot countPosted by Editorial Staff on November 15, 2014
ANCHORAGE — Independent candidate Bill Walker has won Alaska’s gubernatorial election, defeating incumbent Republican Gov. Sean Parnell.
The Associated Press called the race for Walker just after 6 p.m. Friday. Walker’s lead over Parnell increased Friday from 4,004 to 4,634, or 1.7 percent, with the counting of outstanding ballots.
Walker has held a consistent lead over Parnell since election day on Nov. 4.
After reviewing ballots since Election Day, and counting 20,000 early, absentee and questioned ballots Tuesday, the Alaska Division of Elections recorded votes from an additional 26,000-plus ballots on Friday before posting new totals for the candidates just before 6 p.m. Counting was occurring at regional elections offices around the state.
Walker didn’t declare victory Friday night but said he anticipates that things will play out in his favor.
“We think they’re right,” Walker said. “We’ll see over the next few days, but based on the number and the information we have, it definitely looks like we’re going to prevail.”
According to a daily email update from Elections Director Gail Fenumiai on Friday night that there are roughly 10,000 absentee ballots left to be counted.
The Parnell campaign did not issue a statement conceding the race.
Parnell was elected as lieutenant governor in 2006 and became governor in July 2009 upon the resignation of Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee. He won election to a full four-year term in 2010, defeating Walker in the Republican primary that year.
Walker avoided the August primary this year by becoming an independent candidate with Craig Fleener, a former deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, as his running mate.
That all changed after the primary election.
Walker and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Byron Mallott joined as a self-proclaimed “unity ticket” not long after the primary. Mallott had won the Democratic primary for governor and was to be paired with state Sen. Hollis French of Anchorage, who won the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. The two original lieutenant governor candidates — French and Fleener — agreed to drop out to make way for the Walker-Mallott ticket.
Read more at News-Miner.
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