Gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott and his running mate, state Sen. Hollis French, addressed a crowd of supporters Sunday on the steps of the Alaska Capitol for the team’s first joint local appearance since winning the Democratic nomination.
About 65 people attended the rally, including former Juneau mayor Bruce Botelho, Sen. Dennis Egan, Assembly member Loren Jones and Tlingit Elder Marie Olson.
After brief introductory remarks by French, Mallott spoke about his hopes and goals for Alaska under his leadership, touching on topics including support for those who work in public service, job growth, equality for all Alaskans, and the importance of education in building a healthy society.
“We will grow Alaska’s economy one job at a time, in every community across the state, and as we do that, the core of everything we do as a government ultimately comes down to having the highest quality system of education for every Alaskan,” Mallott said.
Mallott began his political career as mayor of Yakutat when he was 22. He served under Alaska’s first governor, Bill Egan, at age 23, and later as mayor of Juneau, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Community and Regional Affairs, and executive director of the Permanent Fund, among other positions.
On Sunday, Mallott said his vision of Alaska calls for a return to the excitement, pride and purpose that defined former Gov. Bill Egan’s dreams for statehood.
“It will be a place where the art and beauty of every individual, no matter (if their ancestors have) walked these lands for 10,000 years or arrived yesterday yearning to be an Alaskan, their lives will be respected and celebrated.”
Mallott is running against Republican Gov. Sean Parnell and independent candidate Bill Walker. His Juneau rally follows similar events in Fairbanks and Anchorage.