This summer, most people assumed that Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) would easily win reelection. He was facing two candidates who were splitting the votes of those looking for someone new to run the state, which is often the best setup a less-than-popular incumbent can hope for (see: Maine gubernatorial race). But then, the two opponents decided to join forces and form the Alaska First Unity ticket. Bill Walker, a former mayor and former Republican, ran as an independent gubernatorial candidate, and Democrat Byron Mallott joined him as the lieutenant governor candidate.