ALASKA: Palin Endorses Independent Opponent Of GOP Gov. Sean Parnell

Parnell (above left) was lieutenant governor under Palin. From the National Journal:

Palin rebuked her Republican successor in her home state, endorsing independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker, who is running on a “unity ticket” with Democratic running mate Byron Mallott, instead. Palin’s endorsement goes against her former lieutenant governor, Gov. Sean Parnell, who assumed office in 2009 when Palin abruptly resigned and is embroiled in a highly contested race for reelection to a second full term. Palin offered the endorsement at a campaign reception in her Wasilla home, according to a press release issued by Walker. Parnell’s 2013 restructuring of the state’s oil and gas taxes dismantled a prior, Palin-championed program that she considered to be one of the greatest achievements of her tenure. That difference of opinion is at the heart of Palin’s conflict with Parnell, which resulted in the two campaigning on opposite sides of a ballot measure in this year’s primary.

Like Parnell, Walker opposes same-sex marriage.

Independent candidate Bill Walker says he treats people with kindness, dignity and respect but says his “Christian beliefs” are that marriage is between a man and a woman. He said that’s keeping with Alaska’s constitution, which a governor is sworn to uphold. If the constitution changes, he would uphold the amended constitution.

The Parnell/Walker race is presently considered a toss-up.

UPDATE: JMG reader Christopher points us to this.

Walker, an attorney, responded later Sunday with criticism of the state’s decision to appeal the ruling. A recent ruling from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — which includes Alaska in its jurisdiction — said bans on same-sex marriage violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Such higher court rulings make the probability of a successful appeal when similar bans have already been overturned in other states unlikely. Walker said he personally viewed marriage as existing between a man and a woman, but added that if he were governor, he would “uphold the laws of the land.” “Despite my personal views on marriage, with the state’s dire financial crisis, pursuing expensive litigation that has little chance of victory is an unwise use of our dwindling resources.”