Sen. Mark Begich would be headed back to Washington, D.C., had the rest of the state voted like Southeast. Bill Walker would have solidly won the governor’s race. And Forrest Dunbar would have probably squeaked by.
Independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker and his running mate, Democrat Byron Mallott, came through Sitka on a recent campaign swing, overlapping with Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, Dan Sullivan. And on issues from healthcare to oil taxes, the two tickets provided a study in contrasts.
Sitka got back-to-back visits from the two major-party candidates for U.S. Senate last week. Senator Mark Begich and his Republican challenger, Dan Sullivan, offered very different takes on everything from health care to Iraq to climate change.
U.S. Senator Mark Begich spoke to the Sitka Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. In an interview afterward, Begich discussed his campaign, climate change, and the new unity ticket shaking up the governor’s race.
News broke over the weekend that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott may be combining his campaign with that of Independent Bill Walker. In Sitka recently, Mallott argued the key issue in November is whether Alaskans' voices will be heard in state government, and said Walker remains, on social issues, a "conservative Republican."
Ballot Measure 1 may be failing statewide, but in Sitka and the rest of central Southeast Alaska, it was a clear winner on Tuesday. Seventy-five percent of Sitka voters backed the measure, with 1315 “yes” votes to just 448 “no” votes.
Bill Walker’s last visit to Sitka was in October. The Fairbanks independent has refined his message following the legislative session. The state’s $2-billion operating deficit has his attention, as do other issues. He stopped by KCAW last week to cover some of his talking points.
Gov. Sean Parnell wants to get natural gas to Alaska’s coastal communities. He says a gas line and LNG plant could benefit more than the Railbelt.
About 40 people turned out in Sitka last week to discuss House Bill 77. The bill is part of an effort by the Parnell Administration to streamline the process for permitting projects on state land. But some Sitkans are joining a chorus of critics who say the bill goes too far, and would curtail public participation in natural resource decisions.
Democratic candidate for governor Byron Mallott visited Sitka on Wednesday night. He discussed his opposition to SB21, expressed support for the Sealaska land bill, and reminisced about time spent in Sitka.