With Election Day nearing an end, and less than 15 percent of the precincts yet to report, some races are still too close to comfortably call. An exception is the race for House District 31, with Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, running uncontested.
“It’s looking pretty good for me,” said Seaton, who was at the Egan Center in Anchorage on Tuesday night, awaiting election results with a crowd of others. “Everybody is kind of just waiting. Things are pretty tight on the governor’s race. It’s kind of hard to tell.”
With all nine precincts reporting, Seaton has 4,772 votes or 97.19 percent of the vote, with 138 or 2.81 percent going to write-ins.
Seaton was first elected to the House in 2002. He currently serves as chair of the Special Committee on Fisheries; is a member of the Standing Committee on Education, the Health, and Social Services Committee and the Resources Committee; and is on the Senate Finance subcommittees for Environmental Conservation, Fish and Game and Transportation and Public Facilities. He already has his staff for the upcoming legislative session. It will include Jenny Martin, Poppy Benson and Taneeka Hansen.
Another sure race appears to be Senate District P, which includes House Districts 31 and 32, with Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, leading Robert “Mo” Henrichs. Stevens has 6,983 votes or 72.61 percent to Henrichs’ 2,592 votes or 26.97 percent.
Stevens was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2001 and to the Senate in 2003. He served as Senate President from 2009-2012, and is currently on the Legislative Council Joint Committee.
In the hotly contested race for one of Alaska’s two U.S. Senate seats, with 378 of 441 precincts reporting, Republican Dan Sullivan holds a lead with 105,218 votes or 49.55 percent. His closest contender is Sen. Mark Begich, with 94,171 votes or 44.35 percent. Libertarian candidate Mark S. Fish was third in the race for U.S. Senate with 7,814 votes or 3.68 percent, while Ted Gianoutsos, with no political party affiliation, was fourth with 4,178 votes or 1.97 percent.
Sullivan’s resume includes serving as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the state’s attorney general. He chaired the Governor’s Rural Subcabinet, was the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and director of the White House National Security Council staff.
While in Homer in July to participate in a pre-primary debate with Joe Miller and Mead Treadwell, Sullivan was clear about his desire to be Alaska’s next U.S. senator.
“What we need to talk about tonight is who has the record for getting results, fighting the federal government’s overreach. … Who has the resources, the organization to beat Mark Begich in the fall and start rolling back the Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Mark Begich agenda,” he said. “I believe I’m that candidate.”
During a campaign stop in Homer in October, Begich predicted it would be a “very, very close campaign.” The race between Sullivan and Begich also was an expensive one, with the two candidates and groups supporting them reportedly spending more than $50 million during the campaign.
Republican Don Young looks to maintain his seat in the U.S. House with 108,105 votes or 51.38 percent, while first-time challenger Forrest Dunbar, a Democrat, has 85,502 votes or 40.63 percent. Libertarian Jim C. McDermott has 15,896 votes or 7.55 percent.
Alaska’s gubernatorial race remains close with the independent team of Bill Walker and Byron Mallott in the lead with 100,898 votes or 47.85 percent. The Republican duo of Gov. Sean Parnell and Dan Sullivan is not far behind with 98,314 votes or 46.62 percent. Carolyn F. “Care” Clift and Andrew C. Lee, Libertarians, are a distant third with 6,230 votes or 2.95 percent of the vote, followed by Alaska Constitution candidates J. R. Myers and Maria P. Rensel with 4,829 votes or 2.29 percent.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at email@example.com.