Republican Dunleavy said to have edge
It is eight days until the November election and the street talk is the Alaska governor’s race is Republican Mike Dunleavy’s “to lose,” meaning unless there’s an unexpected upset Dunleavy is likely to prevail over Democrat Mark Begich. Gov. Bill Walker’s surprise withdrawal from what was a three-way race (in which Dunleavy was still favored) has only seemed to solidify the Republican’s lead because Begich is unlikely to capture enough of Walker’s independent voters. What further complicates things is that Walker’s name will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot (ballots had already been printed at the time of the governor’s withdrawal) which means the governor will get a number of votes out of confusion or as protests by voters who do not like the remaining candidates. In a tight race that would be enough to tip the outcome. However, Begich is an aggressive and experienced campaigner with statewide name recognition from his term in the U.S. Senate and his two statewide campaigns, one in 2008 to gain the Senate seat and the other in 2014, when he narrowly lost to Dan Sullivan, who is now in the Senate.
Begich’s endorsement of the salmon initiative, Ballot Measure 1, cost him the support of two influential rural groups, Calista Corp. and Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. Both endorsed Dunleavy.