Mallott says he and Walker will run together for re-election

Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, an unusual political union that upended Alaska's 2014 gubernatorial race, will take another shot at the office in next year's election, Mallott told a Juneau radio station.

Mallott said he and Walker met Tuesday morning and decided to run together again, radio station KINY-AM reported Wednesday.

"We have both decided that we will run again," Mallott said according to the station, adding, "You never say that in an absolute term because we have no idea what may occur."

Lindsay Hobson, Walker's daughter and his spokeswoman on campaign-related questions, said Friday she could not confirm that the pair will run for re-election.

"That's not something we're commenting on now," she said.

Attempts to reach Walker and Mallott early Friday were unsuccessful. Neither has filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission to run for office in 2018.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Saturday, Walker said, "I'm sure I'll run again."

Sen. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla, announced in July that he plans to run for governor, becoming the first confirmed high-profile candidate in the 2018 race.

[Conservative lawmaker says he's running for governor's post]

Two people on Thursday filed with APOC to run for lieutenant governor: Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, and former Rep. Lynn Gattis, R-Wasilla, who lost the Republican primary in 2016 when she attempted to move up to the Senate.

Walker, who dropped his Republican membership and ran an independent campaign against incumbent Republican Sean Parnell in 2014, joined forces with Mallott, who had been the Democratic nominee for governor. The race had initially been a three-way contest among Parnell, Walker and Mallott, but the unity ticket changed everything.

The Alaska Democratic Party withdrew Mallott as its nominee and agreed to support Walker instead. For that to happen, the running mates of Walker and Mallott dropped out of the race.

Walker has appointed Craig Fleener, his original running mate, as the head of the state's Washington, D.C., office. Walker appointed Hollis French, Mallott's former running mate, to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which regulates oil wells.

Alex DeMarban

Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or alex@adn.com.