Berkowitz on the changing shape of the governor's race

KTUU - September 3, 2010

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaskan Independence Party was deciding Friday night who will be its gubernatorial candidate in the general election -- and possibly ending several days of speculation whether Bill Walker would continue his race for governor. Like many Alaskans, Democratic candidate for governor Ethan Berkowitz wonders what's next for Walker after he was defeated by Gov. Sean Parnell in his quest for the Republican nomination. Will Walker stay in the race?

"I don't know whether it helps me or hurts me, but what I do know is it makes it a better race for Alaska, and I think that's really the most important issues," Berkowitz said.

On Friday night, Walker waited to see if the AIP would pick him to represent the party on the November ticket.

"(We're) curious to see what happens tonight as well, and whatever the AIP decides is just another -- it's another option we're going to have to consider as Bill continues to make his decision," said Taylor Bickford,

Walker's campaign manager. Walker's campaign says he had already decided that the AIP's decision wouldn't affect his decision to continue on.

"If they decide they want to offer Bill a spot on the ticket, then that's something he's going to have to decide and I know he'll be very seriously considering it," Bickford said. "But we're sort of taking it one step at a time, and we'll wait and see what they decide tonight."

Berkowitz says Walker's attempts to stay in the race highlights the difference between the three candidates.

"I welcome Bill's entry into the race," Berkowitz said. "It really makes it clear we have three candidates now, three different approaches to a gas line.

Sean Parnell thinks an all-Alaska line goes through Canada; Bill Walker's got an all-Alaska line proposal; I've got one. But mine insists Alaskans have a right to own a piece of the pipe."

The Parnell campaign declined to comment until after a decision is made by the AIP. Walker said late Friday night that he hadn't yet heard from the party.

Contact Rebecca Palsha at [email protected]