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Gubernatorial Debate Invites Questions, But Little Competition

Facade of the Alaska State Capitol building, Juneau.

The Alaska Municipal League wrapped up a second day of events with a gubernatorial debate between Democrat Byron Mallot and unaffiliated candidate Bill Walker on August 14, 2014.

Both men hope to challenge incumbent Sean Parnell in a race for governor this November, but Parnell himself was absent from the debate.

The AML conference drew municipal leaders from around the state to Nome, as mayors and city managers gathered to discuss regional issues. Many of those leaders, representing communities from Bristol Bay to Kotzebue, stuck around to grill the candidates yesterday.

Both Mallot and Walker spoke out in favor of oil and infrastructure development in rural Alaska. And Walker vocalized support for Ballot Measure #1–which would repeal Gov. Parnell’s controversial new oil tax law.

Mallot repeatedly called for “equity and equality” among all residents of Alaska, while Walker expanded upon his plans to enhance economic and commercial development in the state.

The primary election on August 19, 2014–where all voters will vote to keep or repeal the state’s new oil tax system–is also a ballot where Walker won’t appear and where Mallot is without significant challengers.