We announced the joint independent ticket of Bill Walker and Byron Mallott at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage today. We arrived at this decision to unify and form a joint independent ticket after meetings with our running mates, Senator Hollis French and Craig Fleener, our families, and other key advisers. This is an unprecedented move to advance an administration to move Alaska forward in a positive direction – one that makes every decision based on what is best for Alaska, not what is best for any political party, individual or interest group.

Without the selfless actions of two highly qualified and dedicated Alaskans, Senator French and Craig Fleener, this step could not have been taken.

Leading up to the August primary, several polls showed that Walker was the only candidate within striking distance of the incumbent governor. Following the primary, a poll conducted by Hays Research showed that Walker was several percentage points ahead of Parnell in a two way race. However, in a 3-way race, Parnell would likely be reseated for a third term which we both strongly believe would be detrimental to Alaska.

Since the primary, both of our campaigns have been flooded with emails and calls urging us to join forces. An online petition signed by many Alaskans also called for a joint campaign.

Our campaigns recognized that absent a collaborative effort between the four candidates, deficit spending would continue while priorities such as education, affordable energy, and building our state and economy would again be overlooked for the next four years.

This is an historic moment in Alaska and a momentous decision for our campaigns. We understand that the decision to form a combined team is unusual. But this is not about any one person. This is not about any one party. This is about putting aside partisanship and putting Alaska first.

We are confident that our decision to forge ahead as a team is in the best interest of the state we love deeply. We both believe that Alaska is on the wrong course. We both believe that there is a great deal at stake if we cannot change current leadership. We both believe that our combined ticket is a strong and balanced partnership that is the best choice for moving Alaska forward.