State attorneys Elizabeth Bakalar, foreground left, and Margaret Paton-Walsh, foreground right, listen to arguments made by attorney Jon Choate on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 in Alaska Superior Court in Juneau. At background left is Judge Philip Pallenberg, who is expected to decide the Alaska Democratic Party’s lawsuit against the state next week. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire File)

Alaska Supreme Court allows independents into Dems’ primary

With an order released Wednesday morning, the Alaska Supreme Court has allowed independents to challenge Democrats in the Democratic Party’s primary elections.

The decision has major implications for this fall’s statewide elections: Gov. Bill Walker is an independent, and no major Democratic candidate has registered for the fall election. If Walker were to run in (and win) August’s Democratic primary as an independent, he would limit the number of challengers in November’s general election.

“Of course it makes strategic sense for him,” said Jay Parmley, director of the Alaska Democratic Party.

Parmley said the party has not had any discussions with Walker, and his decision remains his own.

“I’m simply waiting. It’s going to be the governor’s decision; it’s not ours,” he said.

For the rest of this story, visit the Juneau Empire.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

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