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Suspended Walker campaign says it can’t donate leftover money to another candidate

  • Author: Annie Zak
  • Updated: October 26, 2018
  • Published October 26, 2018

Gov. Bill Walker's defunct re-election campaign can't give any money it has left to another candidate.

That's according to a Friday morning email from the campaign, sent out in response to questions about how it will use its remaining resources including money, reserved ad time, and signs.

The campaign is "not legally able to donate any funds from our campaign to another candidate or group," including an independent expenditure group, the email said. The campaign followed up with the Alaska Public Offices Commission on its legal options, the email said.

Walker suspended his campaign a week ago, just two and a half weeks ahead of Election Day. That shifted the Alaska governor's race from a three-way battle into a head-to-head fight between leading candidates Republican Mike Dunleavy and Democrat Mark Begich.

Walker, an independent, announced he was dropping out of the race three days after his former Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott resigned after making unspecified "inappropriate comments" to a woman.

In his announcement, given at the Alaska Federation of Natives annual convention, Walker threw his support to Begich.

People should remove any Walker-Mallott yard signs, and any bigger Walker-Mallott signs "our team may have missed," from public view, the campaign urged in the email.

Campaign signs can't be given away or sold until after the election, the email said. You can recycle your signs or take them to a campaign office to be disposed of.

"With some exceptions, reserved ad space that cannot be reimbursed will be used to make it clear that we have ended our campaign and say thank you to our supporters," the email said.

What money is left will go to fulfilling outstanding debts, the campaign said, including office leases and payroll.

The campaign has already spent 90 percent of its funds, so "providing reimbursement to donors at this point would be logistically challenging and somewhat impractical at just 10 cents on the dollar and having to follow up on thousands of reimbursement checks to make sure they get deposited," the email said.

Campaign manager John-Henry Heckendorn estimated that once existing debts are taken care of, the campaign will probably have somewhere in the ballpark of $25,000 to $75,000 remaining.

"Since we do not have a final accounting, no final decisions have been made but it appears likely that any remaining funds will be used for a Future Campaign Account and nonprofit donations," the email said.