Mallott rejects Democrats’ proposed primary change

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott has rejected a proposal by Alaska Democrats to allow candidates not affiliated with a political party to run in the Democratic primary.

In a letter to state party chair Casey Steinau, Mallott noted questions raised by party attorneys about the constitutionality of a state law requiring a candidate seeking a party’s nomination to be a registered voter of that party. Steinau has said the party believes the law is unconstitutional.

But Mallott said that’s something for a court to decide. He said the state will follow the law.

The party’s executive director, Kay Brown, said party officials will consider their options.

Party leaders had approved allowing independents to run in the Democratic primary and asked state elections officials to make the change.