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September 16, 2014

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Candidates in Alaska governor’s race join forces

Updated Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 | 3:28 p.m.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The independent and Democratic candidates for Alaska governor say they are merging their campaigns to give them a better shot at unseating Republican incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell.

Independent Bill Walker said Tuesday that he has dropped his membership in the Alaska Republican Party and reregistered as undeclared.

It was a move stipulated by the Alaska Democratic Party's central committee when it voted 89-2 Monday to endorse Walker as governor and Democrat Byron Mallott as lieutenant governor.

Walker has been running as an independent but didn't change his official party affiliation until Tuesday. Mallott won last month's Democratic primary election for governor.

Party affiliation and ballot changes have to be made by Tuesday.

Walker and Mallott joined their campaigns after weekend discussions. A combined ticket is expected to provide a stronger challenge to Parnell in November.