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Interior Races Report

Alaska Division of Elections

Republicans appear on the path to victory in several Interior state legislative races.

In the Fairbanks North Pole areas only State Senate contest, Republican Robert Myers has a significant margin over nonaffiliated candidate Marna Sanford in District B. Speaking last night when he was up over 2,000 votes, Myers pointed to his stance on paying a full Permanent Fund Dividend as something that resonated with voters.

Elex Myers: Q:”perception of the PFD.”

Paying a full PFD is estimated to leave the state with an over $2 billion deficit, a shortfall Myers proposes addressing by huge cuts to state programs.          

Republican Incumbent Bart LeBon has a substantial edge over Democratic challenger Christopher Quist in Fairbanks State House District 1. LeBon, who won election two years ago by a single vote, expressed cautious optimism last night as his margin over Quist hovered around a thousand votes.

Elex LeBon:  Q:”..did 2 years ago.”

There will be at least 2,000 absentee and other outstanding ballots to be counted next week in the House District 1 race. Republican incumbent Steve Thompson has a wide margin over Democratic challenger Jeremiah Youmans in the Fairbanks/North Pole area State House District 2 race, and last night Thompson was already looking at what he anticipates will be a challenging legislative session.

Elex Thompson: Q:”…the present time.”

In two other Fairbanks area State House contests, District 5 incumbent, Democrat Adam Wool, is trailing Republican challenger Kevin McKinley with at least 2,400 ballots to be counted next week, while District 4 incumbent Democrat Grier Hopkins is behind Republican opponent Keith Kurber, with over 3,000 outstanding ballots awaiting tally.      

In a five-way race for rural Interior State House District 6 seat, Republican Mike Cronk of Tok  is ahead of Democrat Julia Hnilicka of Nenana, followed by undeclared candidate Elijah Verhagen, non-partisan Vern Carlson and non-affiliated Deborah Riley, with at least 2,500 ballots to be tallied next week. 

In the similarly sprawling and rural House District 9, incumbent Republican George Rauscher of Sutton is soundly defeating Democratic challenger Bill Johnson of Delta Junction. Rauscher credits his experience and record in Juneau.

Elex Rauscher: Q:”they appreciate that.” :09

The Alaska Division of Elections will begin counting outstanding ballots November 10th.

Dan has been in public radio news in Alaska since 1993. He’s worked as a reporter, newscaster and talk show host at stations in McGrath, Valdez and Fairbanks. Dan’s experience includes coverage of a wide range of topics, from wolf control to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and dog mushing.
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.