While much of Alaska waits for the final outcome of races after Tuesday’s election — especially in the two Congressional races that in theory are still up for grabs — there’s no doubt who Juneau voters picked as their winners.
All three Democratic incumbents in the local Alaska State Legislature won dominantly, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski trounced fellow Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola did the same against her two Republican challengers, according to the most-recent vote tallies for Juneau.
But Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy, who appears certain to have won reelection statewide, suffered a different fate in Juneau as local voters opted for independent former Gov. Bill Walker.
Juneau, long considered more liberal than the state electorate overall, did see the usual trend of downtown and Douglas voters leaning more to the left than those in the Mendenhall Valley. But redistricting also altered boundaries somewhat, with the newly drawn District 3 representing parts of the Valley and a few communities in the northern Panhandle, while District 4 now includes parts of the valley as well as Lemon Creek.
As such, Murkowski prevailed over Tshibaka by margins of about 54.6%-30.7% in District 3 and 58.3%-21.1% in District 4, with Democrat Pat Chesbro getting 12.7% and 17.5% in those districts, respectively, according to figures released Thursday by the state Division of Elections. Statewide totals with 100% of precincts reporting, but with some mail-in and a handful of other ballots still to be counted, are currently about 44.2% for Tshibaka, 42.8% for Murkowski and 9.5% for Chesbro. Murkowski is expected to ultimately prevail by getting most of Chesbro’s second-choice voters when the state’s ranked choice tally occurs Nov. 23.
In the U.S. House race Peltola was favored by about 61.5% of District 3 and 74.9% of District 4 voters, compared to her current statewide total of 47.2%. Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III respectively got 19% and 18% in District 3, and 10.4% and 13.5% in District 4. Statewide, Palin has about 26.6% and Begich 24.2%, with Peltola expected to prevail with the ranked choice process.
Dunleavy is all but officially assured of reelection without worrying about ranked choice votes, with 52% of the statewide tally as of Thursday, while Democrat Les Gara at 23% and Walker at 20% couldn’t overtake him even with their votes combined. But in Juneau the incumbent finished second in District 3 with a Walker/Dunleavy/Gara split of 37.4%/35.3%/24.2% and third in District 4 with a Walker/Gara/Dunleavy split of 46.1%/27.1%/24.7%.
Local voters joined the nearly 70% of statewide voters rejecting a ballot measure calling for a state constitutional convention, with 83.6% in District 3 and 86.9% in District 4 opposed.
In local races state Sen. Jesse Kiehl and District 4 Rep. Andi Story were unopposed, while District 3 Rep. Sara Hannan defeated undeclared challenger Darrell Harmon by a 79% to 19.8% tally.
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