Alaska governor to enter Democratic primary in election bid

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Alaska's governor and lieutenant governor are planning to run for re-election by entering into the Democratic primary in August.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott had planned to bypass the primary and go directly to the November election by gathering signatures to run as unaffiliated candidates.

Walker is a former Republican, but he ran as an independent when he became governor in 2014. Mallott is a Democrat.

Campaign manager John-Henry Heckendorn says the two had gathered about half the signatures required to be placed on the November ballot. He says the new plan was not due to any concern about the signature-gathering process.

Walker will appear on the Democratic primary ballot as an independent. Mallott will be listed as a Democrat.

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