At the start of the governor’s race, Walker was running on the Republican ticket, while he and Mallot both were vying for the state’s top office, hoping to unseat incumbent Governor Sean Parnell (R). But as the campaign progressed, the candidates realized that they stood close on the issues and shared the common goal of making Alaskans a priority over oil companies.
Both also have demonstrated a commitment to labor issues and spoke at the AKPFFA Convention in April.
“Walker leans conservative. But as a former union member, he has always been willing to meet with us and listen to our concerns,” says AKPFFA President Tom Wescott. “And Mallot is rock solid on labor issues, always fighting for workers. It is going to be a very busy campaign cycle, but our members will do whatever we can to help make this campaign successful.”
Deciding to work together instead of against each other, Walker left the Republican Party to run as an Independent. Mallot withdrew his bid for governor to be Walker’s running mate. This will be the first time in Alaska history that there will be a blank spot for Democrat on the gubernatorial ballot.
“Walker and Mallot put party affiliation aside to do what is best for Alaska. It is a ray of hope for Alaska workers,” says Wescott.
Walker worked his way through college on the TransAlaska pipeline in the early 1970s. It was during this time that he held memberships with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and the Teamsters. He later served as the mayor of Valez City and then as an attorney specializing in oil and gas law.