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Statewide, Murkowski trails Miller by around 2,000 votes. It may come down to the 16,000 absentee ballots to finally determine who will stand for the Republicans in the November general election.
On the Democratic side for US Senator, Sitka mayor Scott McAdams was the clear favorite statewide. McAdams entered the race in June as the default candidate for the Democrats, who assumed that they would be taking on an established incumbent in November. When the state Democratic convention in Sitka concluded this spring the party had no obvious nominee for Senate. McAdams, who chaired the convention, agreed to run for the seat a few weeks later.
Nevertheless, with party support – but minimal funding – McAdams polled three times as many votes around the state as the two other Democrats and the sole Libertarian candidate. He took almost 15,000 votes in all.
Far more voters chose Republican ballots in this election – around 90,000, to the Democrats 30,000 – but it won’t be until the November general election when Republicans learn if they can unite around Joe Miller as well as the state’s Democrats backed McAdams.
In the race for US Congressman on the Republican side, Don Young was the overwhelming winner both statewide and in Sitka. He outpolled challenger Sheldon Fisher, 664 votes to 141. Young will meet Harry Crawford, the unopposed Democratic nominee, in November.
Like their fellows around the state, Sitkans also favored Republican incumbent Sean Parnell in the governor’s race. He polled over six times as many votes as his closest competitor, Anchorage attorney Bill Walker, 650 to 99.
The race for governor was the only squeaker in Tuesday’s primary for the Democrats. Former house minority leader Ethan Berkowitz is the apparent winner, with a 4,000-vote lead over state senator Hollis French. Sitka voters gave Berkowitz the nod with a little wider margin: 430 votes to 271.
Statewide voting trends for Lt. Governor also held in Sitka. Diane Benson, who challenged Don Young for congress four years ago, solidly won for the Democrats, with 544 votes to 76 for Jack Powers, her closest competitor. Statewide, Benson’s name recognition may have carried some weight: She polled over 23,000 votes, the most for any Democrat in Tuesday’s primary.
For the Republicans, the Lt. Governor’s race was a bit of a surprise. Fairbanks representative Jay Ramras suffered a heavy loss to a former Artic Research Commissioner Mead Treadwell. Statewide, Treadwell won the nomination by nearly a 2 to 1 margin. In Sitka, the damage wasn’t quite so heavy, but Treadwell still was the solid Republican choice with 359 votes to 292.
And finally, Sitkans parted company with the rest of the state in one of the ballot propositions. Statewide, prop 1 – prohibiting some political contributions by government contract holders — failed by a large margin, as it did in Sitka. Prop 2, however, failed in Sitka but passed statewide. Prop 2 requires girls under 18 to obtain the consent of a parent, guardian, or court prior to an abortion. Sitka voters opposed Prop 2, 1008 votes to 753. With the exception of Port Alexander, the other communities in Sitka’s legislative district – Wrangell, Petersburg, and Pelican – supported the measure 744 votes to 499.
The results of the ballot measures in Tuesday’s primary will be final. The winners in the races for state offices will square off in the general election on Tuesday, November 2.
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