Independent Gov. Bill Walker is among the most vulnerable incumbents seeking re-election this cycle. He had hoped to improve his chances in November by running for the Democratic nomination while vowing to remain an independent.
This isn’t a new strategy. In Vermont, independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders seeks the Democratic nomination and wins the primary, only to withdraw as the nominee and run as an independent, leaving the Democratic line on the ballot blank. Walker wanted the nomination simply because he believed his chances at re-election were better in a two-way race than a three-way contest.
Walker’s plans got upended as the filing deadline came to a close on June 1 as former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich filed for the Democratic nomination. Walker quickly withdrew, leaving Begich as the presumptive nominee since no other Democrat filed.
Republicans are hosting an eight-way primary, although former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy and former Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell are the clear frontrunners. Treadwell sought the U.S. Senate nomination in 2014, placing third with 25 percent. Republicans argue that they are better off with a
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