The results of the House District 35 race were delayed on election night due to a technical issue in voting across Southeast. But election returns are finally in for Sitka, Petersburg and other communities affected by the malfunction.
As of 3 p.m. Thursday, Democratic incumbent Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins leads Republican challenger Richard Wein by almost 670 votes with 85 percent of precincts reporting. Results from three precincts – Craig, Klawock, and Thorne Bay – have yet to be uploaded to the Alaska Division of Elections website.
Over 26-hundred Sitkans voted in person on Election Day – the biggest community in the district. Petersburg saw 940 voters in person on Election Day, supporting Kreiss-Tomkins with 58% of the vote. In Sitka, Kreiss-Tomkins received 55% of the vote.
Kreiss-Tomkins felt it was unlikely that returns in those other four communities will change the results of the election.
“Given their size, it’s seemingly mathematically improbable that things can really change all that much from the current margin,” Kreiss-Tomkins said. “So, feeling good and it’s at least partial punctuation on the election.”
Kreiss-Tomkins said he’s been preparing legislation over the last two months in preparation for next year’s legislative session. He’s focused on working to balance the budget and collaborating with Republicans across the aisle to protect the permanent fund.
“Even independent of all the action and posturing around the Permanent Fund Dividend, making sure the underlying fund is fully protected permanently for future generations of Alaskans, I’d say that’s actually probably my biggest priority,” Kreiss-Tomkins said.
Richard Wein did not return KCAW’s call for comment on the latest election results.
While voters in House District 35 were left waiting for results to come in on Tuesday, the rest of Alaska showed clear support for Republicans running in the statewide elections.
With nearly all precincts reporting statewide, Mike Dunleavy leads Democrat Mark Begich by about 20 thousand votes in the race for Alaska Governor. And U.S. Representative Don Young leads in his bid for reelection against Democratic challenger Alyse Galvin by about the same margin.
Voters in Petersburg largely followed that trend, supporting Don Young with 52 percent of the vote and Mike Dunleavy with 49 percent.
But the same is not true in Sitka. Six in ten voters in both of Sitka’s precincts supported Galvin for Congress. And in the race for governor, about 56 percent of Sitkans favored Begich.
Sitkans also differed with the rest of Alaska on a ballot measure that sought to establish new requirements for projects affecting salmon habitats. 56 percent of Sitkans supported Proposition 1, while only 35 percent of voters statewide followed suit. In Petersburg, the measure received 31 percent of the vote in support.