ALASKA | AK-gov

Judge Rules Indies Can Seek Dem Nod

Gov. Bill Walker could join the primary, but he hasn’t indicated he’s interested in doing so.

Zach C. Cohen
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Zach C. Cohen
Oct. 18, 2017, 10:31 a.m.

State Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg “on Tuesday sided with Democrats seeking to allow independent candidates to run in their party primaries. … Democrats asked that the law be considered unconstitutional to the extent that it restricts candidate participation to registered members when political party rules allow for non-member candidates.

“The decision could be appealed. State Department of Law spokeswoman Cori Mills said by email that the state is reviewing the decision.”

“When asked if they would consider running in the Democratic party if allowed,” Gov. Bill Walker (I) “in August said things sometimes change during an election process and ‘we typically don’t say never to anything, quite honestly. … But this is the path that we have chosen’ and having a bipartisan administration has served Alaska well, he said at that time. Walker campaign spokeswoman, Lindsay Hobson, said Tuesday that Walker and” his running mate, Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott (D) “did not have a comment on the court decision.

State Republican Party Chair Tuckerman Babcock praised the decision and “plans to ask his party’s rules committee to look at the state GOP’s rules and ‘how we might address additional opportunities,’ he said.” (AP)

“In practical terms, this means a non-Democrat could win against a registered Democrat in the Democrats’ primary, and then go on to represent the Democrats in the general election. For example, if … Walker decides to run in [and win] the Democrats’ primary … he’d have to appear on the General Election ballot as a Democrat, according to the court ruling.” (Must Read Alaska)

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