Former Legislative Finance director Teal named co-chair of Walker campaign, but Knowles, Fischer endorse Gara for governor

David Teal, who was the director of the Legislative Finance Division until 2019, has signed on to support the campaign of former Gov. Bill Walker as one of his newest campaign co-chairs, as Walker makes another run for governor. Campaign co-chairs typically help raise funds for the candidate.

Conservatives found Teal to lean toward promoting taxes during his final year as the Legislature’s chief budget analyst. He had been in that role since 1997.

In addition to Teal, Walker announced a number of other well-known politicos as co-chairs, including Marilyn Stewart of Anchorage, who was once a supporter and appointee of Gov. Mike Dunleavy. Co-chairs also include Mike Navarre, who had been interested in throwing his name in the hat for governor. Navarre is a Democrat and former Kenai Borough mayor and House representative.

Former Gov. Bill Walker shakes hands with China President Xi Jinping in 2017.

Also on the Walker team are Rep. Dan Ortiz of Ketchikan, former Democrat Sen. Beth Kerttula of Juneau, Dr. Jack Hickel of Anchorage, former AFL-CIO President Vince Beltrami of Cooper Landing, former Walker staffer Barbara Blake of Juneau, Chris Dimond of Anchorage (formerly of Juneau), former Democrat Sen. Berta Gardner of Anchorage, Robert Gottstein of Anchorage, Denise Michels of Nome, Hugh Short of Girdwood, Lee Ryan of Anchorage, former Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer of Anchorage, Bryan Zak of Homer, Tiffany Zulkosy of Bethel, and Charlie Cole of Fairbanks.

Others named in a flyer were Blain Gilman of Kenai, Randall Kowalke of Wasilla, Alyssa McDonald of Unalaska, Megan Alvanna-Stimpfle of Nome, Stosh Anderson of Kodiak, and Rico Work of Juneau.

Les Gara

Bringing support for Democrat and former Anchorage House Rep. Les Gara for governor is former Gov. Tony Knowles. Also supporting Gara is the last surviving delegate of the pre-statehood Constitutional Convention, Vic Fischer. Fischer was one of the backers of the Recall Dunleavy Committee.

As co-hosts to the Gara kickoff fundraiser earlier this month, many Democrats came together in support, including Native rights attorneys Heather Kendall-Miller and Lloyd Miller, Jane Angvik, Mike Williams, Robin Samuelson, Eleanor Andrews, Debra Call, April Ferguson, AlexAnna Salmon, former Sen. Hollis French, former Rep. Woodie Salmon, former Sen. Suzanne Little, Juneau Assemblywoman Carole Triem, Anchorage Assemblywomen Meg Zaletel and Suzanne LaFrance, Fairbanks Assemblywoman Mindy O’Neall, Juneau Assemblywoman Alicia Hughes Skandi, April Ferguson, Al Kookesh, Jr., Anchorage School Board members Kelly Lessens and Carol Jacobs, Alaska Democratic Party former national committeewoman Kim Metcalfe, Alaska Democratic Party Chairwoman Casey Steinau, Lorie Harden, former Alaska Democratic Party Finance Chair Rocky Plotnick, retired judge Peter and Jo Michalski.

The 2022 primary ends on Aug. 16, 2022. The top four vote-getters on that ballot go to the General Election ranked choice voting system, which will be a new method for Alaska voters, who are going to be asked to rank their preferences from 1-4 from those who make the General Election ballot.