Homer Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mark Kirko collects his ballot during the Primary Election on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center polling location in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Homer Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mark Kirko collects his ballot during the Primary Election on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center polling location in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Cox holds slim lead over incumbent Stevens in Senate race

With a few local precincts and many absentee ballots still to be counted, John Cox of Anchor Point holds a slim lead over incumbent Sen. Gary Stevens of Kodiak in Alaska’s Primary Election.

Cox led Stevens by a margin of just 77 votes with 21 out of 23 precincts reported by 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday night. Both men are running for the District P seat in the Republican Party.

Official race results may take some time to calculate, however, as mail-in ballots have yet to be counted. According to the Alaska Division of Elections, Alaska voters had turned in 29,233 mail-in ballots to the state by Monday. Including special needs ballots, absentee voting, early voting, questioned ballots and ballots returned via fax and online, the division had received 38,075 ballots as of Monday.

On the southern Kenai Peninsula, incumbent Alaska Rep. Sarah Vance (R-Homer) ran uncontested in the Primary Election. Her challenger, Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly President and business owner Kelly Cooper, will not appear on the ballot until the November election as an Independent.

For District 31, the state sent out a total of 2,319 absentee ballots (including mail and online) and there are 871 absentee ballots that have been received and accepted as of Tuesday that need to be counted. The number of absentee ballots to be counted includes mail-in, online, fax, in-person, and special needs absentee ballots.

The contested race of interest on the southern peninsula was for the Alaska Senate District P seat. Cox challenged Stevens in the Republican Party, and Greg Madden of Soldotna ran as an Independent.

For the District P race, the state sent out 3,439 absentee ballots (including both by mail and online), and there are 1,307 absentee ballots that have been received and accepted as of Tuesday and need to be counted.

According to the Division of Elections, as an added security measure, absentee ballots will not be counted until Aug. 25 and after in person voter history is completed. Additional absentee ballots may filter in.

Alaskans also had the chance during this election to cast votes for a host of candidates for Alaska’s Congressional Delegation: the state’s single seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and two U.S. Senate seats.

The polling locations in Homer weren’t too crowded on Tuesday afternoon. In order to help keep people separated, election workers had placed markers on the floor at both Homer City Hall, the location for the Homer No. 1 precinct, and the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, the location for the Diamond Ridge precinct.

Even with voters spaced out in line, there weren’t too many left waiting as people trickled into the two locations around 3 p.m. According to election workers, the city hall location had 217 ballots cast by 3:20 p.m. At the Homer Chamber, voters had cast 130 ballots through the counting machine by 3 p.m., and 11 question ballots.

United States Senator (83% of precincts reporting)

Incumbent Dan Sullivan, Republican Party – 42,512, or 100% of the votes for the Republican Party

Al Gross, (Nonpartisan) Democratic Party — 20,815, or 75.83% of the votes for the Democratic Party

John Wayne Howe, Alaska Independence Party — 2,584, or 9.41% of the votes

Edgar Blatchford, (Democrat) Democratic Party — 2,533, or 9.23% of the votes

Chris Cumings, (Nonpartisan) Democratic Party — 1,516, or 5.52% of the votes

United States House of Representatives (83% of precincts reporting)

Incumbent Don Young, Republican Party — 33,886, or 77.36% of the votes for the Republican Party

T. “John” Nelson, Republican Party — 7,376, or 16.84% of the votes

Gerald L. “Jer” Heikes, Republican Party — 2,542, or 5.8% of the votes

Alyse S. Galvin, (Nonpartisan) Democratic Party — 22,194, or 82.19% of the votes for the Democratic Party

Ray Sean Tugatuk, (Democrat) Democratic Party — 2,656, or 9.84% of the votes

William “Bill” Hibler, (Democrat) Democratic Party — 2,153, or 7.97% of the votes

Alaska Senate District P (21 out of 23 precincts reporting)

John Cox, Republican Party — 1,387, or 51.43% of the votes

Incumbent Gary Stevens, Republican Party — 1,310, or 48.57% of the votes

Greg Madden, Alaska Independence Party — 1,165, or 100% of the votes for that party

Alaska House of Representatives District 31 (all precincts reporting)

Incumbent Sarah Vance, Republican Party — 1,758, or 100% of the votes

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com. Reach Michael Armstrong at marmstrong@homernews.com.

A voter fills out his ballot during the Primary Election on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020 at Homer City Hall in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

A voter fills out his ballot during the Primary Election on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020 at Homer City Hall in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Election official Erin Petrie sanitizes a ballot privacy sleeve during the Primary Election on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center polling location in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Election official Erin Petrie sanitizes a ballot privacy sleeve during the Primary Election on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center polling location in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

A sign outside the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center warns voters about COVID-19 precautions being taken during the Primary Election on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

A sign outside the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center warns voters about COVID-19 precautions being taken during the Primary Election on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

A floor marker shows voters where to stand to maintain a safe distance between each other during the Primary Election on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020 at Homer City Hall in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

A floor marker shows voters where to stand to maintain a safe distance between each other during the Primary Election on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020 at Homer City Hall in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

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