The outcome of Alaska’s state races are beginning to take shape with nearly 300,000 ballots counted, but there are still more votes to tally, and the Alaska Division of Elections yet to declare any winners,
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the state is seeing large numbers of by-mail ballots that under state law could not be counted for seven days following the election. DOE has been releasing updates as more ballots are counted and the results of some races have shifted.
Several Democratic lawmakers that were trailing Republican opponents following Election Day results have taken the lead as more mail-in ballots are counted. Sitka’s incumbent Democratic Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins pulled ahead of his Republican challenger Kenny Skaflestad in the most recent unofficial results for District 35. Ketchikan Independent Rep. Dan Ortiz was trailing on Election Day but currently has a comfortable lead over his Republican opponent Leslie Becker. Sitka’s Senator, Republican Bert Stedman, ran unopposed.
In Alaska’s Senate races, the Associated Press listed Democratic Sens. Tom Begich and Bill Wielechowski, both of Anchorage, and Republican Sens. Natasha Von Imhof of Anchorage and Bert Stedman of Sitka as winners of their respective races.
Democratic winners as of Thursday afternoon for Alaska’s House races, according to the AP, are Reps. Adam Wool, Fairbanks; Ivy Sponholz; Andy Josephson; Harriet Drummond; Geran Tarr; Zack Fields and Matt Claman; all of Anchorage. All were incumbents.
Republican winners, per the AP, are Mike Cronk, Healy; Christopher Kurka, Wasilla; Kevin McCabe, Big Lake; George Rauscher, Sutton; DeLena Johnson, Palmer; Cathy Tilton, Wasilla; Laddie Shaw, Anchorage and Louise Stutes, Kodiak.
Cronk, Kurka and McCabe are newcomers to the Legislature, the rest are incumbents.
Rep. Bryce Edgmon, a Dillingham independent, ran unopposed. Edgmon was Speaker of the House for the 31st Legislature but new leadership will be selected in January for the 32nd Legislature.
In the state’s congressional races news outlets including the Associated Press have called both races in favor of incumbent Republicans Sen. Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young, though neither of their challengers, Dr. Al Gross and Alyse Galvin respectively, had conceded as of 5 p.m. Thursday.
Alaska’s two ballot measures remain on track to be defeated as well. Votes for Measure 1, an oil tax initiative, have trailed significantly since Election Night.
According to the most recent results released by DOE, Measure 2, a package of elections reforms was within 2,000 votes of winning. Wednesday’s results had the measure down by roughly 10,000 votes.
DOE will release updated information as ballots are counted. No election results are final until certified by state officials.
• Contact reporter Peter Segall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.