Democrats’ central committee backs Mallott

The Alaska Democratic Party announced Saturday that its state central committee unanimously endorsed Byron Mallott as the party’s choice to run against Gov. Sean Parnell in 2014.

With 10 months still to go before voters choose the Democrats’ official candidate in the August primary, the Saturday vote was the earliest that party leaders have ever backed a gubernatorial candidate, the party said in a prepared statement. The move sends a signal to other would-be candidates that they would face a difficult challenge to get on the final ballot. By declaring Mallott the front-runner, the party is also improving his fund-raising abilities.

Parnell is so far unopposed in the Republican primary. Another Republican, Bill Walker, is running as an independent.

Mallott, 70, is from Yakutat.

“Byron Mallott has unparalleled experience in business and public service and will bring Alaska values back to Juneau,” Democratic Party chair Mike Wenstrup said in a prepared statement.

Anchorage Daily News