The plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the Walker-Mallott unity ticket says he won’t appeal a judge’s ruling that an emergency order permitting the merged campaigns can stand.


Steve Strait, District 21 chairman for the Alaska Republican Party, filed the lawsuit against Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai, saying that an emergency order issued by Treadwell was done illegally.


On Sept. 2, Treadwell OK’d the combined campaigns between independent candidate Bill Walker and Democrat Byron Mallott in the gubernatorial race. Mallott is running as Walker’s lieutenant governor after their running mates dropped out of the race following the August primary election.


There isn’t a statute in place to handle this specific situation and on Friday, Superior Court Judge John Suddock ruled that the emergency order was proper. He said the ruling was valid because the state was facing deadlines printing ballots and voter material before the general election. A candidate who has ties to a political party can also change running mates after the primary if there’s a withdrawal, Suddock said.


Strait says that the state Legislature needs enact a regulation to address similar cases in the future.


“Suddock’s decision does not address the 42,327 voters who cast ballots for Mallott for Governor nor the 40,271 voters who chose French for Lt. Gov.,” Strait said in a statement. “That these voters are summarily ignored only reinforces the belief that voting does not matter.”