JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The Latest on Alaska’s candidate filings (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

Former Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell is running for governor.

Treadwell will seek the Republican nomination in the race. He joins the list of candidates seeking the GOP nod, including former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy and businessman Scott Hawkins.

Treadwell says his experience sets him apart. He is a former chairman of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

Friday marked the deadline for candidates to file for office.

On the Democratic side, former U.S. senator Mark Begich jumped in.

Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, is seeking re-election. He flirted with running in the Democratic primary as an independent but now plans to skip the primary and gather signatures to appear on the general election ballot.

4 p.m.

Democratic former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is running for governor in Alaska, complicating Gov. Bill Walker’s re-election bid.

Begich made his plans official ahead of a Friday afternoon filing deadline.

He told supporters in an email that he waited so long to decide because his family was a big consideration. He has a son in high school and relishes time together. He recalled losing his own dad at a young age.

But he says his family decided “nothing would be as hard as sitting back and watching our state continue to struggle.”

Rather than run in the Democratic primary as an independent, Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott plan to skip the primary and instead gather signatures to appear on November’s general election ballot.

Walker was elected in 2014 with Democratic support.

3:45 p.m.

A legislative ethics package passed by Alaska lawmakers is substantially similar to a planned ballot initiative, eliminating the need to put the issue to Alaska voters.

That’s the assessment of Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, who deemed the initiative void. The Department of Law concurred with Mallott.

Anchorage state Rep. Jason Grenn sponsored the legislation and is a member of the ballot group. He says the group will review the determination to see if they agree or want to challenge it.

Grenn has said that Alaska “took a massive step for legislative ethics reform” in passing the bill.

The measure would require approval for legislative travel outside the United States. It also would prohibit lobbyists from buying legislators alcohol and restrict food purchases.

Grenn has said that without the initiative, lawmakers wouldn’t have felt the pressure to pass the bill.

12:50 p.m.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker says he will skip the primary and run as an independent in the general election.

In a Facebook post Friday, Walker says he and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott will run as independents in the November general election.

Walker’s campaign last month said Walker planned to run as an independent in the Democratic primary, a move allowed by a recent court decision.

But the campaign this week said Walker would skip the primary and gather signatures to appear on the general election ballot if Democrat Mark Begich got in the race.

Begich hasn’t publicly made his intentions known. The candidate filing deadline is 5 p.m. Friday.

Walker says he has “no interest in criticizing anyone for stepping up to serve their state.”

9:05 a.m.

An Alaska lawmaker ostracized by state Republican leaders for joining with Democrats to help form a House majority coalition has left the GOP.

Rep. Paul Seaton of Homer says he changed his party affiliation from Republican to nonpartisan in filing for re-election. Seaton plans to run as an independent candidate in the August Democratic primary.

He says he wants the race to be on the issues.

Seaton is a co-chair of the House Finance Committee. He was one of three Republicans who joined with Democrats and two independents to form a majority coalition after the 2016 elections.

The state GOP said the actions of Seaton and Republicans Louise Stutes and Gabrielle LeDoux were contrary to the Republican party’s values and goals.


8:35 a.m.

With Alaska candidates facing a Friday deadline to file to run, all eyes are on former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and whether the Democrat will enter the race for governor.

One person who’s been waiting on Begich’s decision is Gov. Bill Walker, an independent.

Walker’s campaign has said Begich will influence whether Walker runs in the Democratic primary or skips the primary and instead gathers signatures to appear on November’s general election ballot.

A recent court ruling allowed independents to run in the Democratic primary if they want the party’s backing. Walker was elected in 2014 with Democratic support.

Walker’s campaign said he won’t run in the primary if Begich runs.

On the Republican side, state Rep. Mike Chenault (shen-AWLT) says he won’t seek the GOP nomination for governor.

AP-WF-06-02-18 0036GMT

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