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Parnell says race isn't over as Walker moves ahead with transition planning

  • Author: Alex DeMarban
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published November 12, 2014

With independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker preparing to announce details Wednesday of his transition plan to take the reins of the state next month, Gov. Sean Parnell issued a statement saying the race isn't over.

With more than 240,000 ballots counted and at least 30,000 outstanding ballots remaining to be counted -- and with Walker leading by about 4,000 votes -- Parnell said there's no clear winner.

"The Division of Elections will continue counting on Friday, and likely again next Monday and Tuesday. In light of the importance of every Alaskan's vote and the high price paid by our veterans to secure it, we remain patient and await the outcome of this race," said Parnell.

Parnell, who took over for Sarah Palin after she quit office in 2009, and won election in his own right in 2010, is vying for his second full term. He trails Walker by 4,004 votes, or 1.6 percent.

Walker's lead grew slightly after Round 2 of counting on Tuesday. More counting is set to begin Friday.

At a 1 p.m. press conference today, Walker plans to announce the co-chairs of a transition team that will consist of Alaskans from across the state who can help identify policy priorities and goals for his administration should he win. The topics to be covered by the team will also be announced.

Walker said during the campaign he will carry forward some of Parnell's key initiatives, including the tax rewrite for oil producers known as Senate Bill 21. Walker also said he will carry forward the Alaska LNG megaproject the state is working on with BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil Corp. Walker has previously characterized the proposed megaproject as fatally flawed but added he wants the state to have a controlling interest in the project, a step that Parnell has said would derail it.

The state Division of Elections hopes to certify the election Nov. 28.

In a statement sent late Tuesday, Walker said while thousands of votes remain to be counted, he is undertaking preliminary steps to be ready for the constitutionally mandated Dec. 1 swearing-in.