It's not just the Alaska Senate primary that's operating under new ballot rules this year, but the state's new top four primary with ranked-choice voting will mark the first time such a system has been used in what is shaping up to be an interesting but under the radar race for governor. (Maine also uses ranked-choice voting but only for federal races, so this year's gubernatorial election won't be under that system).

Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy is facing off against several candidates for a second term, but the most notable opponent is the man he succeeded in 2018 — former Independent Gov. Bill Walker. There are other viable challengers from both the left and right that make this a contest worth watching, in addition to the uniqueness of the ballot situation, but it's still too early to see how it shakes out fully. But, indicating we are keeping an eye on the contest given the numerous quirky factors, we are moving this race from Solid to Likely Republican.

Both Dunleavy and Walker spurred controversy and backlash during

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