Former governor and current gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker visits Kodiak during Crab Fest

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Former Governor Bill Walker made a campaign stop in Kodiak during the island’s Crab Festival last weekend.

10 candidates are running for governor this year – and Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor Charlie Pierce – a Republican – was the only other candidate to visit Kodiak’s Crab Festival. He met with supporters at a booth during his time in town.

The state of Alaska has gone to a ranked-choice voting system since the last gubernatorial election. And former Gov. Bill Walker says he approves of the new process.

“We do have a new system, and it’s one that I think is going to… help voters have more choices. I think anytime we have more choices, it’s a good thing,” Walker said.

Walker is a registered Independent and served one term as governor from 2014-2018. He suspended his campaign near the end of 2018 after his lieutenant governor and running mate withdrew suddenly amid controversy.

On the first day of Crab Fest, Walker and his running mate Heidi Drygas attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting of Double Shovel Cidery. Later that evening, he attended a meet-and-greet hosted by supporters on the island.

Walker and Drygas stopped by KMXT’s studios the following day to talk about the campaign. Walker says that while ranked-choice voting changes up campaign strategy in the general election, the primary season is more or less the same tactics as when he last ran for governor.

“It doesn’t really change anything for us too much. We’re just running our campaign focused on unseating the incumbent,” Walker said.

Kodiak’s Crab Festival was host to many current and aspiring politicians- Sen. Lisa Murkowski was in town along with her challenger Kelly Tshibaka, as well as candidates for Alaska’s lone House seat.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated that Bill Walker was defeated by Gov. Mike Dunleavy in the 2018 gubernatorial election. We regret the error.

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