In what seems an effort to derail the unified ticket of Governor candidate Bill Walker and Lt. Governor candidate Byron Mallott, who joined together from both the Republican and Democrat camps to run against the incumbent candidate, Sean Parnell, the District 21 Chairman of the Alaska Republican Party filed a lawsuit challenging the emergency regulation that allowed the two to join forces.
The suit claims that no emergency existed When Lt Governor Mead Treadwell issued an emergency order allowing Walker and Mallott to withdraw from their races and merge their campaigns into a unified campaign.
The suit against Mead Treadwell and the director of the Division of Elections Gail Fenumiai was brought by Ken Jacobus on behalf of his client the District 21 Alaska Republican Party Chairman Steve Strait. in the suit, it says, “Procrastination, political strategy and political expediency has nothing to do with preserving public peace, health, safety or general welfare and is not an emergency”
State Assistant Attorney Libby Bakalar says that Treadwell’s decision has precedent in the Supreme Court’s ruling in the 2000 O’Callaghan v. State of Alaska, and that the state will defend the regulation and Treadwell’s decision in court.
Walker said that it is the plaintiffs who are using political gamesmanship. The suit was filed 16 days after Treadwell’s decision, and comes as a reaction to recent polls showing the Walker camp in the lead coming up to the general election. Strait countered saying that the suit was not filed until this week because extensive research was required.
Republican Party chairman Strait said that he filed the suit as a “concerned long-time Alaskan” and that the lawsuit has no connection with the Republican party and is not politically driven. Frank McQueary, who steps into the Alaskan Republican Party’s vice chair seat next year is supporting the suit and is assisting in attorney’s costs.
Ballots for this cycle’s general election are already in print.