Stevens, Vance lead in unofficial primary results

With three candidates in the Senate and House races, all in the primary advance to the general election.

In unofficial election results as of late Tuesday, and with 10 of 21 precincts reporting, incumbent Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, has an overwhelming lead over challengers Heath Smith and Walter H. Jones in the Senate District C primary. Stevens has 3,251 votes or 60.17% to Smith’s 1,592 votes or 29.47%, with Jones at 560 votes and 10.35%.

In the House District 6 primary with six of nine precincts reporting, Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, leads with 2,247 votes or 54.94% to Louis “Louie” A. Flora with 1,496 votes or 36.58%. A nonpartisan candidate like Flora, Ginger Bryant trails with 347 votes or 8.48%.

However, in the primary voters were asked to pick one of the candidates running for office, with the top four in each race advancing to the ranked-choice general election in November. With just three candidates each in the Senate District C and House District 6 primaries, all candidates will be on the general election ranked-choice ballot.

In the primary for Governor and Lt. Governor, and with 224 of 402 precincts counted, incumbent Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Lt. Gov. candidate Nancy Dahlstrom lead with 49,768 votes or 42.28%. Former Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. candidate Heidi Drygas, nonpartisan, are just 38 votes ahead of Democratic Party candidate for governor Les Gara and candidate for lt. governor Jessica Cook. Walker/Drygas have 25,405 votes or 21.58% and Gara/Cook have 25,367 votes or 21.55%. Trailing at fourth are Republican candidates for governor Charlie Pierce and candidate for lt. governor Edie Grunwald with 8,467 votes or 4.29%. If Pierce/Grunwald hold the lead, they will advance with the other three teams to the ranked-choice general election. In fifth are Republican candidate for governor Chris Kurka and candidate for lt. governor Paul Hueper. Pierce is the Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor and Hueper is from Homer.

In District 6 results, Pierce/Grunwald had stronger support, with 1,103 votes or 18.88%. Dunleavy/Dahlstrom led with 1,821 votes or 31.17% followed by Gara/Cook with 1,477 votes or 25.28% and Walker/Drygas with 5,843 votes or 16.46%.

In the primary for U.S. Senate, and with 224 of 402 precincts counted, Rep. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, holds a slight lead over Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka. Murkowski has 50,509 votes or 42.68% to Tshibaka with 49,044 votes or 41.44%. Trailing them in third is Democrat Patricia Chesbro with 7,293 or 6.16% and Republican Buzz A. Kelley in fourth with 2,699 or 2.28%.

In the primary for U.S. Representative, and with 224 of 402 precincts counted, Democrat Mary Peltola leads with 40,871 votes or 34.44% over former Gov. Sarah Palin, Republican, with 38,066 votes or 32.97%. Republican Nick Begich is in third with 32,216 votes of 27.23%. In fourth is Republican Tara M. Sweeney with 3,882 votes or 3.37%. If those places hold, all four will advance to the ranked-choice general election.

In the ranked-choice special election to fill out the remainder of the late Congressman Don Young’s term, Peltola leads with 44,010 votes or 37.63% followed by Palin with 38,773 votes or 33.15%. Begich is in third with 34,172 votes or 29.22%. Under the ranked-choice voting system, the second-place ranked votes of ballots cast for the eventual third-place candidate will go to the top-two candidates. The ranked choice calculation won’t happen until Aug. 31 when all votes are received.

In District 6, Peltola also led over Palin and Begich, with 2,180 votes or 37.52%, Palin with 2,038 votes or 35.07%, and Begich with 1,543 votes of 26.55%. Peltola had strong support in the Diamond Ridge, Homer No. 1 and No. 2, Kachemak-Fritz Creek, and Seldovia-Kachemak Bay precincts while Palin had strong support in the Anchor Point, Kasilof and Ninilchik precincts.

Voter turnout for House District 6 was 33.58% in preliminary numbers.

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