Though not yet certified by the Alaska Division of Elections, the Associated Press on Tuesday named winners in most of Alaska’s races for the 2020 general election giving a preview of what the new Alaska State Legislature could look like.
Many of the victors named by The AP were already leading in their races but with almost all the results from mail-in and other ballots released a prolonged election appears to be coming to a close.
Ballot Measure 2, a package of election reforms including open primaries and ranked-choice voting, was among the winners declared by The AP Tuesday. Backers of Measure 2 shared a statement Tuesday calling their win a victory for all Alaskans.
“We now have an electoral system that lives up to Alaska’s independent streak by saying, ‘to hell with politics, let’s do what is right for Alaska,’” said Shea Siegert, campaign manager for Yes on 2 for Better Elections.
Representatives from the campaign spoke to the Empire Monday and expressed great confidence in their chances for winning but at the time did not declare victory.
Yes votes for Measure 2 were down on Election Night, but their number steadily grew as DOE released updated results before taking the lead last week. According to Nov. 18 results from DOE, votes in favor of Measure 2 totaled 173,725 or 50.55% of the vote to 169,918 or 49.45% against the measure.
Though many of the candidates had already declared victory themselves, The AP called races for a number of lawmakers throughout the state.
One race not yet called is for House District 27, where incumbent Republican Lance Pruitt is down by 16 votes against Democratic challenger Liz Snyder. Pruitt was House Minority Leader during the last legislative session and his ouster from the Legislature would mean a shakeup in Republican House leadership.
The latest DOE results show Snyder with 4,574 or 49.99% to Pruitt’s 4,558 or 49.82%. There are 17 write-in votes making up .19% of the vote.
According to DOE spokesperson Tiffany Montemayor, recounts are only triggered automatically by a tie and no one may request a recount until the results are certified. The requester must submit a written request for a recount as well as pay a deposit based on how many ballots need to be counted. In an email, Montemayor said if the margin is fewer than 20 votes or less than .5% the state pays for the recount.
The Pruitt campaign did not immediately respond to request seeking comment.
Winners for the Alaska State Legislature declared by The AP Tuesday are:
In the Senate: Robert Meyers, R, District B – North Pole; David Wilson, R, District D – Wasilla; Shelley Hughes, R, District F – Palmer; Bill Wielechowski, D, District H – Anchorage; Tom Begich, D, District J – Anchorage; Natasha Von Imhof, R, District L – Anchorage; Josh Revak, R, District M – Anchorage; Gary Stevens, R, District P – Kodiak; Bert Stedman, R, District R – Sitka; Donny Olson, D, District T – Golovin.
Meyers was the only non-incumbent to be elected. Begich and Stedman both ran unopposed.
In the House: Bart LeBon, R, District 1 – Fairbanks; Steve Thompson, R, District 2 – Fairbanks; Mike Prax, R, District 3 – North Pole; Grier Hopkins, D, District 4 – Fairbanks; Adam Wool, D, District 5 – Fairbanks; Mike Cronk, R, District 6 – Healy; Christopher Kurka, R, District 7 – Wasilla; Kevin McCabe, R, District 8 – Big Lake; George Rausher, R, District 9 – Sutton; David Eastman, R, District 10 – Wasilla; DeLena Johnson, R, District 11 – Palmer; Cathy Tilton, R, District 12 – Wasilla; Ken McCarty, R, District 13 – Eagle River; Kelly Merrick, R, District 14 – Eagle River; Ivy Sponholz, D, District 16 – Anchorage; Andy Josephson, D, District 17 – Anchorage; Harriet Drummond, D, District 18 – Anchorage; Geran Tarr, D, District 19 – Anchorage; Zack Fields, D, District 20 – Anchorage; Matt Claman, D, District 21 – Anchorage; Sara Rasmussen, R, District 22 – Anchorage; Chris Tuck, D, District 23 – Anchorage; Thomas McKay, R, District 24 – Anchorage; Calvin Schrage, nonpartisan, District 25 – Anchorage; Laddie Shaw, R, District 26 – Anchorage; Ben Carpenter, R, District 29 – Nikiski; Ronald Gillham, R, District 30 – Kenai; Sarah Vance, R, District 31 – Homer; Louise Stutes, R, District 32 – Kodiak; Sara Hannan, D, District 33 – Juneau; Andi Story, D, District 34 – Juneau; Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, D, District 35 – Sitka; Dan Ortiz, nonpartisan, District 36 – Ketchikan; Bryce Edgmon, undelcared, District 37 – Dillingham; Tiffany Zulkosky, D, District 38 – Bethel; Neal Foster, D, District 39 – Nome.
Cronk, Kurka, McCabe, McCarty, McKay, Schrage and Gillham, are all newcomers to the Legislature. All but Schrage, a nonpartisan, are Republicans. Prax, Tilton, Josephson, Drummond, Tarr, Fields, Shaw, Stutes, Hannan, and Edgmon ran unopposed.
• Contact reporter Peter Segall at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.