DENVER, COLO. –– The Centrist Project announced today its endorsement of incumbent independent Governor Bill Walker of Alaska, who is running for re-election in the 2018 election.
“Governor Walker represents the very best of what it means to be an independent by consistently putting the long-term interests of his state ahead of any partisan or special interest,” said Nick Troiano, Executive Director of the Centrist Project.
Governor Walker, a former Republican, was first elected in 2014 on a “unity ticket” that was formed with the then Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Byron Mallott. Previously, he was a partner at a law firm he founded with his wife, First Lady Donna Walker. He spent his early career as a carpenter, teamster and laborer on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.
In his first term, Governor Walker has championed pragmatic ideas from both sides of the aisle –– including reforming the state’s criminal justice system, expanding health insurance coverage, and taking steps to close a historic $3 billion budget deficit that ballooned as a result of falling oil prices.
At a press conference organized by the Centrist Project in June, Governor Walker said; “When you lose 80% of your revenue, you make some hard decisions. But I think it is easier to make hard decisions as an independent because my decisions are not reflective of a particular party, I can just make the decision that is best for Alaska.”
Governor Walker also commented on the nonpartisan team he assembled to help lead the state: “People look at our cabinet, and they look around the table at 25 cabinet members. They’ll see a Republican; they’ll see a Democrat; they’ll see a Libertarian; they’ll see an Independent. And they’ll go, what are you people? And I say, we’re Alaskans. We’re a group of Alaskans doing what is best for Alaska.”
Most recently, Governor Walker joined with a group of Democratic and Republicans governors to call for a bipartisan approach to health care reform, and announced that he intends to convene this group in the near future to continue working on a solution.
As part of its endorsement, the Centrist Project will mobilize its supporters in Alaska and around the country to contribute their time and resources to the governor’s re-election campaign. So far this cycle, the group has also endorsed independent State Treasurer Terry Hayes of Maine, who is also running for governor.
“Governor Walker is an extraordinary leader for Alaska and role model for our movement, and supporting his re-election is one of our top priorities,” Troiano said.
Photo Source: AP