ANCHORAGE — After the Alaska Division of Elections completed the lengthy counting process of the more than 150,000 absentee by mail votes in the Nov. 3 General Election, two races are headed for a recount and some are speculating over organization in the House of Representatives.
In the Mat-Su Valley, no race flipped from one candidate to another after election night. Senators Shelley Hughes and David Wilson both won bids for reelection as did Representatives George Rauscher, David Eastman, DeLena Johnson and Cathy Tilton. In House District’s 7 and 8, Christopher Kurka and Kevin McCabe were elected to their first term in the state legislature. With results finalized, the organization of the House and Senate is left to be determined.
Recounts will occur for Ballot Measure 2 which passed by nearly 4,000 votes and House District 27 which Dr. Liz Snyder won by 16 votes. Barring any changes, the House may end up led by a bipartisan coalition as it has for the last three years under House Speaker Bryce Edgmon. As the last race to be reported in finality by the Division of Elections, House District 40 is now represented by Independent Josiah ‘Allaqsruaq’ Patkotak.
“Anybody that’s going to look at attacking programs or services that are going to affect my district negatively, that’s not something I’m going to be in favor of, obviously,” said Patkotak to KOTZ radio in Kotzebue this week.
In House District 27, Dr. Liz Snyder defeated Republican Representative Lance Pruitt by 16 votes. Snyder received 4,754 to 4,558 for Pruitt. The separation in percentages of the ballots cast for each candidate is just .17 percent and the race is headed toward a state-funded automatic recount. Ballot Measure 2 will also be recounted. There were 173,725 yes votes and 169,918 no votes for Ballot Measure 2, a difference of 1.05 percent.
In the Senate, Republican incumbent David Wilson cruised to victory after winning a packed Primary. Wilson received 12,600 votes, nearly 10,000 more than the other candidates. Former Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman Dan Mayfield finished in second by just .03 percent. Mayfield finished with 2,618 votes to 2,618 for Democratic nominee Thomas Lamb. Senator Shelley Hughes received more votes than any other Valley candidate with 14,751. In the race for Senate District F, Democrat Jim Cooper received 4,904 votes and Gavin Christiansen received 998 votes.
In House District 7, Kurka received 6,443 votes to 2,251 votes cast for Jamin Burton. In House District 8, Kevin McCabe had the largest margin of victory of any Valley candidate. McCabe received 7,506 votes to 1,681 for Alma Hartley. McCabe’s 81.4 percent of ballots cast was more than any other candidate (that had an opponent) by seven percent. Eastman won reelection after a close Primary with 7,647 votes to 2,691 votes for Monica Stein-Olson in District 10. Representative DeLena Johnson won reelection in District 11 with 7,380 votes to 2,552 votes for Democrat Andrea Hackbarth. Republican Representative Cathy Tilton won reelection to the House in District 12 with 8,862 votes.