(The following was originally published in the Alaska Dispatch News.)
Tuesday’s U.S. Senate primary ballot for the Alaska Libertarian Party included two former party chairs, Mark Fish and Scott Kohlhaas. There was a third candidate, Thom Walker, a political unknown who works at a remote research station on the North Slope, and he didn’t raise any money or run a campaign.
Walker won the election anyway, grabbing 2,600 votes, compared to 1,600 for his two opponents combined. Shocked Libertarian Party officials are now scrambling to find him to see if he’ll appear at a scheduled debate next week — and they speculate that Walker’s participation in the race may have been a ploy by Republicans to keep a more viable Libertarian candidate from siphoning votes away from the the GOP’s own nominee, Dan Sullivan.
“I really smell a fish in the woodpile here,” said Michael Chambers, the Alaska Libertarian Party chairman. “And I don’t mean Mark Fish.”
How does Walker, a former student body president at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, account for the results? He doesn’t: His mobile phone goes directly to voicemail, and an email message sent this week went unanswered.