Ticket with Native candidate preparing for transition in Alaska

Supporters of Bill Walker and Byron Mallott rally on election day in Yakutat, where Mallott was born. Photo from Facebook

The votes are still being counted but the unity ticket in Alaska is preparing for a transition to the governor's office in the event of victory.

Independent Bill Walker and Democrat Byron Mallott maintained a 3,165-vote lead over Gov. Sean Parnell (R), according to the Secretary of State. Both sides say the race is too close to call.

"Another Alaska election has come down to the wire," Walker said on Facebook. "We'll just have to wait and see what effect absentee and questioned ballots will have on the totals."

With every vote on the line, Native villages are playing a key role in the outcome, The Alaska Dispatch News reported. Rural Alaskans overwhelmingly chose Walker and Mallott.

Mallott, who is Tlingit, is a former board chair and former CEO of Sealaska Corporation and is well known among the Native population. The Alaska Federation of Natives endorsed Walker and Mallott at the group's annual convention last month.

If the ticket wins, Mallott would be the second lieutenant governor with Native heritage. The first was Loren Leman, according to Wikipedia.

It could be another two weeks before all of the votes are counted.

Get the Story:
With governor's race too close to call, Walker plans for transition (The Alaska Dispatch News 11/6)

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