Alaska Gov. Bill Walker announces he will drop his re-election bid while addressing the Alaska Federation of Natives conference Friday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Anchorage, Alaska. Walker's re-election plans were dealt a blow earlier in the week after his running mate, Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, resigned after making an inappropriate overture toward a woman. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

Alaska's independent governor drops re-election bid

October 19, 2018 - 11:37 pm

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has dropped his re-election bid, shortly after the sudden resignation of his lieutenant governor over what Walker described as an inappropriate overture toward a woman.

Walker's announcement, made Friday at the Alaska Federation of Natives conference in Anchorage shortly before he was to participate in a debate, was met with gasps and cries of "No!" from the audience.

With less than three weeks until the election, Walker, an independent, said it became clear he could not win a three-way race against Republican former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy and Democratic former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich.

Alaskans deserve a competitive race, "and Alaskans deserve a choice other than Mike Dunleavy," he said.

On Friday night, Brett Huber, Dunleavy's campaign manager, issued a statement blasting Walker. "Governor Walker could have chosen a dignified, graceful exit to his campaign. Instead, he opted to bow out with a bitter, partisan attack on Mike Dunleavy. It's too bad — Alaskans deserve better," Huber said.

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