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Incumbents Sarah Vance and Gary Stevens hold significant leads in south Peninsula races

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Updated 9 a.m., Nov. 9

With over 96 percent of all precincts reporting statewide, Republican candidates Justin Ruffridge, of Soldotna, and Jesse Bjorkman, of Nikiski, are leading by a few hundred votes in their State House District 7 and State Senate District D races, respectively, while Republican incumbents are leading in races on the southern Kenai Peninsula.

Results from the Division of Elections don’t include absentee ballots or early voting ballots received after Nov. 3, and only account for first-choice results in the races with more than two candidates. To win outright, candidates must have more than 50 percent of the total votes.

In cases where no candidate has received a clear majority, races will be tabulated by the Alaska Division of Elections — which means the division will eliminate the candidates that have no chance of winning and redistribute the votes to the remaining candidates. The division will tabulate those races Nov. 23.

The state says it will certify results on Nov. 29. Voter turnout is about 36% statewide, so far.

House District 7

With all precincts reporting, Justin Ruffridge leads incumbent Rep. Ron Gillham for the House District 7 seat, representing Kenai and Soldotna, with under 53 percent of the vote — a lead of 347 votes. Both candidates are Republicans, from Soldotna.

Voter turnout sit just below 37 percent in House District 7.

House District 8

Nikiski Republican Rep. Ben Carpenter is running unopposed to keep his seat representing the Northern Kenai Peninsula for House District 8. He has just under 97 percent of the vote.

Voter turnout in House District 8 is 44 percent, so far.

Senate District D

With all precincts reporting, Nikiski Republican Jesse Bjorkman is leading Alaska GOP-endorsed Republican Tuckerman Babcock, of Soldotna, in the race for Senate District D, representing the northern Kenai Peninsula, with 46 percent of the vote to Babcock’s 42 percent, a lead of 572 votes. Andy Cizek, a nonpartisan candidate from Soldotna, has just over 11 percent of the vote.

House District 6

With all precincts reporting, incumbent Rep. Sarah Vance, a Republican, is leading with 54 percent of the vote for House District 6, representing the southern Kenai Peninsula. Nonpartisan challenger Louie Flora has around 43 percent of the vote, while Ginger Bryant has 3 percent of the total votes.

Voter turnout in House District 6 is currently 44 percent.

Senate District C

With all precincts reporting, incumbent Sen. Gary Stevens, a Republican, is leading with about 55 percent of the vote to Republican Heath Smith’s 33 percent. Walter Jones, also a Republican, has under 12 percent.

U.S. House

Incumbent Democrat Mary Peltola, who was elected in August in a special election, is holding her lead with around 47 percent of the vote. Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich are behind her, with just under 27 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Libertarian Chris Bye has less than 2 percent of the vote.

Assuming no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote tonight, the result of this race will become clearer on Nov. 23 when the ranked votes are redistributed.

U.S. Senate

Trump-endorsed Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka has an early lead over incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski with over 96 percent of all precincts reporting statewide. Tshibaka has over 44 percent of the vote to Murkowski’s 43 percent.

Democrat Pat Chesbro has snagged over 9 percent of the vote, while Republican Buzz Kelley, who dropped out of the race and endorsed Tshibaka, has 3 percent.

Alaska Governor

Incumbent Gov. Mike Dunleavy has a strong lead in early results, with just over 52 percent of the vote. Democrat Les Gara follows him with 23 percent, and nonpartisan Bill Walker follows with 20 percent.

Former Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce has just under 5 percent of the vote. Pierce’s running mate Edie Grunwald dropped off the ticket after sexual harassment accusations against Pierce became public, though she dropped out too late for her name to be taken off the ballot.

Ballot Measure One

Voters are leaning "no" on Ballot Measure One — a once-in-a-decade question about whether Alaska should hold another constitutional convention. With nearly all precincts reporting, almost 70 percent of Alaska voters have voted against holding a convention.

Official results still weeks away

Early results — updated 2 a.m. Wednesday — include votes cast at polling places Tuesday and early voting ballots from Oct. 24 through Nov. 3. Results also only include first-place votes. The winners in ranked choice races won’t be tabulated until Nov. 23.

Originally from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, Desiree has called Alaska ‘home’ for almost two decades. Her involvement in radio began over 10 years, first as a volunteer DJ at KBBI, later as a host and producer, and now in her current role as a reporter. Her passions include stories relating to agriculture, food systems and rural issues. In her spare time, she can often be found riding her bicycle, creating art from handmade paper, or working in the garden.
Sabine Poux is the news director at KDLL in Kenai. Originally from New York, she's lived and reported in Argentina and Vermont, where she fell in love with local news. She covers all things central peninsula at KDLL, but is especially interested in stories related to energy and fishing. She'd love to hear your ideas at spoux@kdll.org.
Riley Board is a Report For America corps member covering rural communities on the central Kenai Peninsula for KDLL. A recent graduate of Middlebury College, where she studied linguistics, English literature and German, Board was editor-in-chief of The Middlebury Campus, the student newspaper, and completed work as a Kellogg Fellow, doing independent linguistics research. She has interned at the Burlington Free Press, covering the early days of the pandemic’s effects on Vermont communities, and at Smithsonian Institution’s Folklife, where she wrote about culture and folklife in Washington, D.C. and beyond. Board hails from Sarasota, Florida.