Sylvia Harvey, right, runs ballots through a vote counting machine in Juneau on Monday as election officials recount votes in the House District 40 primary race between incumbent Rep. Ben Nageak and challenger Dean Westlake.

Sylvia Harvey, right, runs ballots through a vote counting machine in Juneau on Monday as election officials recount votes in the House District 40 primary race between incumbent Rep. Ben Nageak and challenger Dean Westlake.

Recount confirms Westlake defeated Nageak in race

ANCHORAGE — A recount has confirmed the challenger in a northern Alaska legislative race defeated incumbent Rep. Benjamin Nageak of Barrow in the Aug. 16 primary.

State Division of Elections officials said Monday that challenger Dean Westlake widened his lead the House District 40 race from four to eight votes. Westlake received 825 votes, and Nageak got 817 votes.

The recount was conducted after the initial certified results showed Westlake won with 819 votes, compared to Nageak’s 815. A previous unofficial count after the primary had Westlake in the lead by 21 votes.

Nageak, a Democrat, has been a member of the Republican-led House majority. Westlake, who has no opponents in the November general election, was backed by the Democratic Party.

The race also was challenged by concerns over ballot issues. State elections officials have said a poll worker mistakenly gave election-day voters both a Republican ballot and a ballot with candidates from the other parties.

Josie Bahnke, director of the Alaska Division of Elections, writes down totals in Juneau on Monday as election officials recount votes in the House District 40 primary race between incumbent Rep. Ben Nageak and challenger Dean Westlake.

Josie Bahnke, director of the Alaska Division of Elections, writes down totals in Juneau on Monday as election officials recount votes in the House District 40 primary race between incumbent Rep. Ben Nageak and challenger Dean Westlake.

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