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Alaska Libertarians get go-ahead to swap candidates for US Senate

Pat Forgey

JUNEAU -- The Alaska Libertarian Party successfully swapped U.S. Senate candidates Tuesday and will go into the fall general election with the candidate they want.

"Our candidate for Senate is going to be Mark Fish," said Michael Chambers, chairman of the party.

The party was startled in last month's primary election when voters nominated little-known Thom Walker as the Libertarian primary winner. Better-known independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker was not on that ballot, leading observers to speculate that Thom Walker had garnered votes intended for Bill Walker.

But even more important, Thom Walker had work responsibilities that would limit his ability to campaign. He said in a notice posted on the party's website that his remote work site and schedule were forcing him to decline the nomination.

Chambers said that on Friday morning, friends of Thom Walker hand-delivered the written notice of his decision to withdraw, under his signature, to the state Division of Elections office in Fairbanks.

That cleared the way for Fish to take the party's spot on the ballot. He'd won the endorsement of party leaders prior to the election, and then had been named the replacement in anticipation of Thom Walker's official action Tuesday.

Contact Pat Forgey at pat@alaskadispatch.com.