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The Latest: Rivals downplay talk of deal in Alaska race

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on the Alaska governor’s race (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and his Democratic rival are downplaying suggestions of a possible deal between them before next month’s election.

During a debate Thursday, presumed front-runner Republican Mike Dunleavy asked Democrat Mark Begich if he and Walker were in negotiations for one of them to drop out.

Begich said he’d like Dunleavy to drop out. When Dunleavy pressed, Begich said: “There’s no deals.”

Walker’s campaign was rocked Tuesday when Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott resigned over unspecified inappropriate comments.

Walker’s campaign manager has there have been talks with Begich about a “path forward for Alaska” but he declined to provide specifics.

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Noon

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker says his re-election campaign is moving ahead but says he’s taking it “a day at a time.”

His campaign was rocked Tuesday by the abrupt resignation of Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott over what Walker has described as an inappropriate overture to a woman. Mallott apologized though few details have been released.

During a speech at the Alaska Federation of Natives Conference in Anchorage Thursday, Walker referred to Mallott as his brother, closest friend and soul mate. He says Mallott did the right thing by taking responsibility.

Walker, an independent, is in a three-way race for re-election. Some Democrats and independents worry that Walker and Democrat Mark Begich would split the vote, giving the race to Republican Mike Dunleavy.

State health commissioner Valerie Davidson replaced Mallot.

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