Incumbent Trouble Beyond the Lower 48

Ige and Walker got bad news over the past week.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker speaks to reporters during a press availability at the governor's mansion on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Juneau, Alaska. Walker addressed a range of topics, including trying to reach agreement with lawmakers on an overall budget plan.
AP Photo/Becky Bohrer
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Kyle Trygstad
June 8, 2018, 6:23 a.m.

Filing deadline candidate shuffles in the past week increased the vulnerability of the governors from the two states outside the lower 48.

Former Democratic Sen. Mark Begich’s filing less than 30 minutes before Alaska’s June 1 deadline disrupted independent Gov. Bill Walker’s plan to run in the Democratic primary and ensures the incumbent will face viable opponents from both parties in November.

In Hawaii, former state Sen. Clayton Hee’s exit from the race Monday provides a boon to Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s primary challenge to Democratic Gov. David Ige. Hanabusa led the incumbent 37-31 percent in a Honolulu Civil Beat poll conducted a month ago and should pick up more of Hee’s support (11 percent in the poll) than Ige.

For Walker, a more-splintered general-election vote puts him in greater danger than he already was in the Republican-leaning state. For Ige, a less-splintered primary vote could seal his fate.

Kyle Trygstad


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