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2020 Election: 3 Republicans Vie for House District 6; No Primary Race for 5 Incumbents

The race to fill an open seat for House District 6 is shaping up to be the liveliest Legislative primary-election contest in the Interior. But voters in most other districts around the Interior won’t have a competitive race until the Nov. 3 general election.

Three Republicans are running for the District 6 seat vacated by the retirement of longtime lawmaker Dave Talerico, of Healy: Ryan Smith of Fairbanks; Julie Morris, of Anderson; and Mike Cronk, of Tok.

The winner will face Democrat Julia Hnilicka, from Nenana, according to the list of candidates posted by the state Division of Elections after the Monday candidate-registration deadline.

Meanwhile, five incumbent lawmakers will be unopposed in the primary. They are Democratic District T Sen. Donny Olson, of Golovin; and Grier Hopkins, who represents House District 4. Also unopposed in the primary are Republican representives Bart LeBon, of Fairbanks, Mike Prax, of North Pole, and George Rausher, of Sutton.

But all five will face opponents in the November 3rd general election. Olson will go up against one of the two Republicans vying for his seat, which represents western Alaska: Calvin Moto, of Deering, and Thomas Baker, of Kotzebue. And Hopkins will face Republican Keith Kurber of Fairbanks.

LeBon will face one of two Democrats running for the District 1 seat. They are Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly member Christopher Quist and Bennie Colbert, the Fairbanks chapter director of the NAACP.

Prax may get a free ride all the way through the general, because the Elections Division has ruled that his opponent, Democrat Christina Sinclair of North Pole, didn’t submit required paperwork by Monday’s deadline. An Elections official said Tuesday that Sinclair has until June 11 to successfully appeal the decision.

And Rauscher will again face Democrat Bill Johnson of Delta Junction to represent House District 9, which sprawls from Delta Junction to Valdez and westward into the Mat-Su.

In other races, District 5 Representative Adam Wool will go up against fellow Fairbanksan Taryn Hughes in the primary. And the winner will face Republican Kevin McKinley in the general.  

Also: Fairbanks District 2 Republican Representative Steve Thompson will oppose David Selle, also of Fairbanks, in the primary. The winner will face Democrat Jeremiah Youmans, of North Pole.

And longtime Republican Senator John Coghill of North Pole faces Robert Myers of Salcha in the primary. No Democrats have filed to run for Senate District B, but two non-affiliated candidates from Fairbanks are seeking to run against Coghill in the general election. The candidacies of both Evan Eads and Marna Sanford are pending the submission of the required number of valid voter signatures, according to the Elections Division website.

Corrections: This story was revised to correct an earlier version that stated John Coghill will be unopposed in the general election. Coghill may face non-affiliated candidates Evan Eads and/or Marna Sanford, if either or both submit the required number of valid voter signatures.
Also, an earlier version of this story misspelled Julia Hnilicka's first name.

Tim has worked in the news business for over three decades, mainly as a newspaper reporter and editor in southern Arizona. Tim first came to Alaska with his family in 1967, and grew up in Delta Junction before emigrating to the Lower 48 in 1977 to get a college education and see the world.