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Former Alaska Gov. Bill Walker files for second term in 2022

Former Alaska Gov. Bill Walker plans to run for office once again.
Former Alaska Gov. Bill Walker plans to run for office once again.(KTUU)
Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 9:43 AM AKDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2021 at 11:44 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Former Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has announced a bid for a second term in 2022.

Walker filed a letter of intent on Monday with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, which allows him to begin fundraising before officially registering for reelection with the Division of Elections.

Heidi Drygas, the former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development under Walker, filed to run as his lieutenant governor.

Walker, an independent, served as the state’s governor from 2014 to 2018. He has been considering a reelection bid for months.

He came into office in 2014 as the state faced a $4 billion deficit. That deficit was shrunk by the Legislature and the Walker administration, but the state still faces profound fiscal challenges.

In 2017, he proposed a payroll tax that did not pass. He successfully advocated for Senate Bill 26, which now draws annually from the Permanent Fund to pay for state services.

Walker vetoed half of the 2016 Permanent Fund dividend. That decision proved highly controversial, but he defends it as being the only choice with Alaska facing a fiscal crisis.

The former governor ran for a second term in 2018 but withdrew after allegations of inappropriate behavior emerged against his lieutenant governor Byron Mallot. Walker gave a lengthy description to Alaska’s News Source of the incident in February.

Walker is the third person to file in the race for the governor’s office in this upcoming election.

Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy, who was elected to office in 2018, filed a letter of intent last week. Billy Toien filed in May to run as a Libertarian.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with more information.

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