Governor: Mallott made ‘inappropriate overture’
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The Latest on the resignation of Alaska’s lieutenant governor (all times local):
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker says Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott made an “inappropriate overture to a woman,” leading to Mallott’s resignation.
Walker spokesman Austin Baird says the incident happened Sunday. He says Walker learned of it from his chief of staff, Scott Kendall, before a debate Monday.
Baird says Walker spoke with Kendall late Monday and with Mallott on Monday and again Tuesday morning.
He says Mallott offered his resignation.
Walker earlier in the day said Mallott had made “inappropriate comments that do not reflect the sterling level of behavior required in his role as Lieutenant Governor.”
Mallott, in his resignation letter Tuesday, apologized for his actions.
Valerie Davidson was sworn in as Mallott’s successor.
The campaign manager for Alaska Gov. Bill Walker says the campaign has been in talks with Democrat Mark Begich about a “path forward” for the state.
John-Henry Heckendorn said Tuesday the talks so far have been inconclusive but will continue.
He says the talks were prompted by concerns about Republican candidate Mike Dunleavy’s plans and the current three-way contest.
He says the talks are separate from Tuesday’s resignation of Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott over unspecified inappropriate comments. Walker said he had learned of Mallott’s actions late Monday.
In a statement, Walker said it’s too late for Mallott’s name to be removed from the ballot, but he would not accept the post of lieutenant governor if elected.
Valerie Davidson was sworn in Tuesday as Mallott’s successor.
Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott says actions leading to his resignation compromised Gov. Bill Walker’s ability to lead the state.
In a resignation letter, Mallott says his decision to step down Tuesday was compelled by “inappropriate comments I made that placed a person whom I respect and revere in a position of vulnerability.”
It’s not clear what Mallott said.
He didn’t immediately return a message. Gov. Bill Walker didn’t take questions during a news conference with Mallott’s successor, Valerie Davidson.
Walker, in a statement, said Mallott cannot remove his name from the ballot but won’t accept the position of lieutenant governor if elected. He says Davidson will assume the role of his running mate.
He says the campaign and stakes of the election are greater than any one person.
The governor of Alaska says Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott has resigned over unspecified “inappropriate comments.”
The move upends what was already a difficult re-election fight for Gov. Bill Walker.
Mallott’s decision was announced Tuesday, shortly after Walker participated in a debate in Anchorage.
Walker, in a release, said he learned late Monday that Mallott had made “inappropriate comments” not suitable for the office.
Walker did not specify what comments Mallott had made.
A spokesman for Walker said there would be a news conference addressing the matter.
State health commissioner Valerie Davidson was sworn in as lieutenant governor.
Mallott and Walker have shared a brother-like bond since joining forces as part of a “unity ticket” in 2014. Walker is an independent; Mallott is a Democrat.
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