Walker ousts Parnell in close Alaska governor’s race

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ALASKA- CNN projects independent candidate Bill Walker has won the Alaska gubernatorial race, defeating Republican incumbent Sean Parnell.

Walker, a lawyer and local politician, is the first independent to win the seat in Alaska’s statehood. The former Valdez mayor and city councilor announced that he would run as an independent in 2013 after Parnell defeated him by a wide margin in the 2010 Republican primary en route to becoming governor.

The race was too close to call on election night, with Walker showing less than a 3,000-vote lead over Parnell. Saturday morning, after questioned ballots were adjudicated and early votes, absentee ballots and outstanding ballots had been calculated, Walker led Parnell by just over 4,600 votes.

Byron Mallott, a Democratic primary candidate with whom Walker merged his campaign, will become lieutenant governor.

The breakdown of governorships starting in January 2015 is now 31 held by Republicans, 17 Democrats and one independent. The outcome of the race in Vermont is still unresolved.

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