The Democratic Party’s “Year of the Woman” arrived in Juneau on Tuesday.
According to preliminary tallies by the Alaska Division of Elections, Sara Hannan has won the Democratic nomination for House District 33 and Andi Story has won the party’s nomination for House District 34.
Both women will advance to the general election and face challenges by well-funded male candidates.
Story will face Juneau Deputy Mayor Jerry Nankervis, who won the Republican nomination Tuesday in an uncontested election.
Hannan will run against independent candidate Chris Dimond.
“I’m very excited and looking forward to the future,” Story said after the final unofficial results of her race were released by the Alaska Division of Elections.
Story’s challenger, independent Rob Edwardson, received one vote for every three that Story earned.
By cellphone, he said he will be supporting her in the general election.
“I think it’s important to keep the House Majority Coalition. I think it’s important for the Valley to elect somebody who is people-centric and progressive, and that’s why I’m supporting Andi,” he said.
Final unofficial results for House District 33 were not available at the Empire’s press deadline, but with 9 of 11 precincts reporting, Hannan held an insurmountable lead.
“I’m feeling pretty confident. Still have a few precincts to report in, but I’m feeling pretty good,” she said. “I’ve got enough of a lead that unless things break 100 percent for Tom … even with that I’m pretty confident.”
For Senate District Q, which covers both House districts, Jesse Kiehl received the Democratic nomination unopposed. He advances to a general election challenge by independent Don Etheridge.
Election Day turnout appeared up from the 2016 primary election but not as high as the 2014 primary, which also took place during midterm federal elections.
In the Mendenhall Valley’s House District 34, there were 3,461 votes cast out of a possible 15,218 on Election Day. That tally does not include all absentee or questioned ballots, but it was already well above the 2,056 votes cast during the 2016 primary in that district.
Story received three-quarters of the 1,926 Democratic votes cast in the district, while Nankervis received 1,304 votes out of 1,535 Republican ballots cast. That signifies nearly 200 people cast Republican ballots but did not fill in the circle for Nankervis.
Nankervis, talking to the Empire as he cast his vote about 12:30 p.m. at Aldersgate Methodist Church in the Mendenhall Valley, said people shouldn’t take the primary tallies and apply them to the general election matchup between himself and Story.
Story was running in a contested race, which generates more interest, and some people are likely to have picked a Republican ballot simply to vote in the contested Republican primary for governor.
“The numbers might be different than they might be otherwise,” he said.
In House District 33, full results were not yet available at 11 p.m., the Empire’s press deadline, but turnout appeared to be higher than in 2016, when voters cast 2,529 ballots.
With nine of 11 precincts reporting, Hannan received 65.3 percent of the tally, more than challengers Tom Morphet, Steve Handy and James Hart (who withdrew from the race after the ballot deadline but before Election Day).
Her closest competitor was Morphet, who received 16.1 percent of the Election Day tally.
Hannan attributed her success to “a true grassroots campaign. Knocking on over 2,000 doors myself and talking to people throughout the district about things that are of concern to them,” she said.
“That’s the same thing I’m going to do to win in November,” she added.
• Contact reporter James Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 523-2258.