Bart LeBon

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.

Tim Ellis/KUAC

State House Speaker Bryce Edgmon joined five Fairbanks-area legislators and University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen Wednesday for a news conference focused on overriding the governor's deep cuts to the university system and other state programs. The lawmakers and Johnsen then spoke to about 700 people at a town hall in Fairbanks, almost all of whom urged them to override.


Local legislators heard ideas and indignation about Governor Mike Dunleavy’s proposed state budget on Saturday. Bart LeBon, the representative for House District 1 and Steve Thompson, the rep for House District 2, held a joint constituent meeting at Monroe High School in Fairbanks. Citizens spent more time talking about revenue, but they expressed fear and concerns about new reductions after five years of cuts.


All three parties filed briefs and objections last Friday to a ruling on the lawsuit holding up Alaska’s House District 1 election. Two months after election day, the Alaska Supreme Court is scheduled to hear each party argue their points at an oral hearing this Friday morning, January 4th. In the meantime, the state House is at a stand-still, unable to elect a speaker until a majority is decided. 

Yesterday’s judicial hearing for the lawsuit contesting the ballot recount for Alaska House District 1 lasted six and a half hours. Judge Eric Aarseth was appointed to be a Special Master to review the case and make recommendations to the Alaska Supreme Court, which will hear the case in January. When the hearing was over, Aarseth stuck by the findings of the Division of Elections that made Bart LeBon the winner of the race by one vote.


It has been 24 days since the statewide election, and voters in District 1, the area around downtown Fairbanks, still don’t know who is going to represent them in the Alaska Legislature. Republican Bart LeBon and Democrat Kathryn Dodge are tied at 2,661 votes each.

This morning the Alaska Division of Elections is re-counting all the ballots for House District 1, to break or confirm the tie. At 10:00 am today the ballots will be run again through scanning machines at the Division’s office in Juneau. The count may also include a ballot found outside a scanning machine at Fairbanks Precinct number 6, and a ballot marked with an X.

The Alaska House District 1 race is officially tied. Monday morning, the Division of Elections certified the statewide November election as required by law, leaving the downtown Fairbanks district tied with 2,661 votes each for Democrat Kathryn Dodge and Republican Bart LeBon. And there are still ballots that might be counted.

KUAC file photos

Alaska State Senate President Pete Kelly of Fairbanks has a slim lead over Democratic challenger Scott Kawasaki after Tuesday's election. And Bart Lebon is holding on to a 79-vote lead over Kathryn Dodge in the race for the House District 1 race.

Race for Fairbanks House District 1

Nov 2, 2018

Two long-time community activists are running a tight race for House District 1. The seat is vacant because Representative Scott Kawasaki is running for the Alaska Senate.  As KUAC’s Robyne reports, Kathryn Dodge and Bart LeBon both have long resumes of community impact and volunteerism that may make it hard for some voters to choose between them.


There’s only one contested legislative primary-election race that Fairbanks-area voters will weigh-in on this coming Tuesday. That’s the House District 1 seat left vacant by Rep. Scott Kawasaki’s decision to challenge incumbent Sen. Pete Kelly to represent state Senate District A. The matchup features two candidates with very different campaign pitches.