Bill Walker and Heidi Drygas

Bill Walker and Heidi Drygas

Like many Alaskans, we are pained by the divisive political rhetoric tearing our  communities and families apart. We believe what unites us is far greater than what  divides us. Most Alaskans share a common goal for ourselves and our loved ones — to  pursue fulfilling and healthy lives in thriving communities. 

We’re running to create opportunities for all Alaskans to pursue their hopes and dreams.  This will require us to rebuild trust, invest in infrastructure, and work with the Legislature  to secure Alaska’s economic future. The values we bring are equally critical to achieving  this vision of a thriving Alaska. We pledge to work across party lines, and to address  people as Alaskans, not as members of partisan factions. We believe that’s exactly the  kind of leadership Alaskans expect and deserve. 

Because of my conservative political background, and because the Walker-Drygas  ticket is nonpartisan, we want to be clear about where we stand on reproductive rights  and the rights of the LGBTQ community. 

We begin by acknowledging the concerns of Alaskans who fear losing autonomy over  their own healthcare decisions. While Bill is personally pro-life and Heidi is pro-choice,  we will honor our oath of office and uphold and defend every constitutional right. That  includes taking necessary executive action or vetoing unconstitutional legislation that  

infringes upon any of our fundamental rights. Alaska’s Constitution provides an express  right to privacy, which Alaska’s Supreme Court has ruled includes a woman’s right to  reproductive freedom. We hold our duty to the Constitution higher than our personal  convictions, and we will always fight for the rights of Alaskans — whether defending the  right to bear arms, protecting freedom of speech, or ensuring the right to privacy. All of  these rights often must be protected precisely because others don’t agree with how they  are exercised. 

But above all, we are pro-family. That means we support access to healthcare,  contraception, economic opportunities, and a livable wage. It means we will work  tirelessly to reduce domestic violence and sexual assault. It means we will  champion Alaska's children and working parents by supporting greater access to high quality, affordable childcare, early childhood education, and flexible work arrangements.  It means we will support policies that help aging Alaskans live with dignity. 

A pro-family agenda includes meaningful healthcare reform. In our first term we  expanded Medicaid, extending healthcare and birth control access to more than 60,000  Alaskans, bringing a billion new dollars into Alaska's economy each year while reducing  the state’s cost of providing healthcare. We worked with Sen. Lisa Murkowski to protect  federal healthcare funding for Alaskans. We will continue to promote practical policies  that improve Alaskans’ quality of life. For example, we will introduce legislation to  allow contraceptives to be dispensed 12 months at a time rather than the three months  currently allowed. 

Respect for Alaskans also means respecting all families. We believe the fabric of our  communities is stronger when we support and uphold the rights of our LGBTQ  neighbors, coworkers, and friends. By no means is my record perfect, but I have always 

been honest with Alaskans. I learned a great deal during my first term as governor from  colleagues, friends, and LGBTQ advisors in our administration about their community.  Under our administration, the state Human Rights Commission began, for the first time,  documenting allegations of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender  expression. I also nominated a LGBTQ Alaskan to a seat on the Human Rights  Commission because he was the most qualified for the position.  

We promise to continue to engage and learn from our LGBTQ community members.  Looking to the future, we will support legislation specifically empowering the Human  Rights Commission to investigate complaints from the LGBTQ community, just as it  

does with complaints related to race, gender, religion, and national origin. Our  administration will honor the rights of LGBTQ Alaskans, including the right to marry,  which is the law of the land, and the right to live free from discrimination. We will work to  promote a culture in Alaska of tolerance and healing.  

We are running for governor and lieutenant governor because we believe Alaska’s best  days are ahead. By bringing together Alaskans from diverse backgrounds — in an  administration that reflects our many cultures, locations, political affiliations, and ways of  life — we can tackle and solve our most pressing problems. The Walker-Drygas ticket  will forge solutions that improve the lives of all Alaskans, and put differences aside for  the sake of the greater good. That’s the Alaskan way.  

Let’s get to work. 

Bill Walker served as the 11th Governor of Alaska from 2014-2018. He lives in  Anchorage with his wife, Donna. He is a candidate for Governor in 2022. 

Heidi Drygas served as the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development under  Governor Bill Walker from 2014-2018. She lives in Juneau with her husband Kevin and  daughter Olive. She is a candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 2022.

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