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Candidate Mallott visits GILA students in social studies class

Byron Mallott, shown here in a photo from the Juneau Empire.

Byron Mallott, shown here in a photo from the Juneau Empire.

By AARON MUNTER, staff writer

Byron Mallott, a candidate for Lt. Governor of Alaska, came to Galena on Wednesday, Oct. 15 to talk to students for an hour in Brian Davis’s social studies class on a variety of topics, focusing a lot of his comments about the history of Alaska.

Mr. Mallott is running as an independent along with Bill Walker, the candidate for governor. He is also the former director of the Alaska Permanent Fund.

Entering Mr. Davis’s classroom, Mr. Mallott stood at the front of the room and posed as the teacher for the day. Throughout the class period, Byron talked to students about the exploration of Alaska, the duties of Lt. Governor, and a lawsuit that was recently decided about the state’s obligation to have greater voter outreach in traditional Native languages.

Mr. Mallott talked to the students about some of his knowledge about the exploration of Alaska. He spent time talking about Danish explorer Vitus Bering. He told the class about Bering’s expeditions to Alaska, and what Bering discovered along the way.

Mr. Mallott later gave students a general idea about what it means to be Lt. Governor. Being Lt. Governor gives you the ability to oversee ballots and initiatives in the state. Mr. Mallott also explained how the position of governor was appointed in the past. During the time Alaska was a territory, governors were appointed by the president, and were called Secretary of State instead of the present-day governor.

“Alaska is unique,” said Mr. Mallott as he talked about the many different Native groups and languages in Alaska. He went into some depth about the lawsuit of the obligation to print ballots in Native Languages, as some Alaska Natives are unable to understand English well.