ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Bill Walker's options are dwindling in his campaign for governor of Alaska. The Republican candidate says a third-party ticket is not an option, and a write-in campaign is unlikely.
Walker says he's not bitter, and that he won't give up his enthusiasm for public service.
Walker's former campaign office has been quiet since the primary election as voters wondered about his next move -- but now, reality has set in.
“I'm less frustrated having run and not won than having not run at all,” Walker said.
He says talks with third parties did not amount to much.
“For me, it's not a bitter, sad event -- it's just the closure of a chapter and perhaps the opening of another chapter,” Walker said.
There has been an outpouring of support on Walker's Facebook page.
“Thank you for all of your hard work Bill. I'm sorry enough of Alaska did not see that you were the clear choice,” one user wrote.
“I'm still going to write you in. I can not, in good conscience, vote for either of the 2 mainstream candidates,” another user wrote.
Those candidates are both reaching out, eager for Walker's support.
“I share a hope for Alaska's future, but I share more than a hope as well, I share the willingness to work across the differences for those things that we agree on: let's fight together for Alaska's future,” said Gov. Sean Parnell, in a statement released by his campaign.
Democratic candidate Ethan Berkowitz says if elected, he would love to have Walker on his natural gas pipeline negotiating team.
“I've had a number of his supporters reach out and speak to me today, and throw their support in my direction, and I’m hoping as the campaign moves forward we can get Bill's support as well,” Berkowitz said.
“No, I’m not prepared to endorse anybody at this point,” Walker said when asked about those offers.
Walker says he's still passionate about building a gas line, and will look for ways to serve the public -- perhaps through a non-profit or non-political organization.
“I ran because of specific concerns I've had about this state, those concerns have only been magnified throughout this campaign process -- it's been a year,” Walker said.
After a few weeks of deadlines and discussions, Walker finally has something that's been hard to come by: time to think about his next move.
Wednesday was the deadline for a candidate to file as a third-party contender, and Walker has not done so -- but he did not rule out the possibility of a future run for office.
Contact Ted Land at firstname.lastname@example.org