About 60 people attended a rainy campaign rally on the steps of the Capitol building for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott on Sunday.
Mallott’s stump speech was about 9 minutes long. He hit on themes of respect for organized labor and public employees, and serving Alaskans in all communities of all cultures.
Mallot pledged to “reach out, listen, consider, (and) heed the voice of every single Alaskan.”
His voice was hoarse from campaigning. He was sipping tea from a thermos after his address.
The nod to labor comes after trying to court the Alaska AFL-CIO’s endorsement at a convention in Fairbanks last week. The Alaska Dispatch News reported that the labor union opposes Republican Gov. Sean Parnell, but would not endorse a challenger–unless Mallott and independent Bill Walker merge their campaigns.
Polls indicate the three-way race favors Parnell, while a two-way race would be much closer.
On Sunday, Mallott maintained his commitment to run as a Democrat.
“Well, you know, polls in Alaska can be, can be unreliable….There hasn’t been a lot of polling. The general election is just beginning. We have a long way to go.”
Running mate Hollis French lumped Walker and Parnell together.
“This race is going to offer Alaskans a very simple, very simple test for who they want to be the next governor,” French said.
“You can have an oil company lobbyist, an oil and gas attorney, or the man who ran the Permanent Fund.”
Parnell used to lobby for ConocoPhillips. Walker is an Anchorage lawyer with an emphasis in oil and gas. Mallott was executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. from 1995 to 2000.
“And I think once the state realizes that’s their choices, everything is going to be fine,” French said.
The general election is Nov. 4.