The lieutenant governor of Alaska, Byron Mallott, resigned suddenly on Tuesday, and Gov. Bill Walker (I) said he stepped down due to "inappropriate comments" made two days ago.
"As leaders, we must hold ourselves to the highest standards of conduct," Walker said. The governor said he found out about the comments on Monday, and that they were directed at a woman who has asked that her identity remain anonymous. Mallott and Walker were close, running on a "unity ticket" in 2014; Walker, once a Republican, was elected as an independent, and Mallott is a Democrat.
Alaska Health and Social Services Commissioner Valerie Davidson has been sworn in as lieutenant governor, and she said she was "deeply saddened" by Mallott's resignation and "profoundly disappointed by his conduct," adding, "respect for women and the dignity of all Alaskans is our responsibility." Davidson will replace Mallott as Walker's running mate in an increasingly difficult re-election.