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    Conservative challengers surge ahead in Alaska primary races

    AlaskaWatchman.com

    If the unofficial results are any indication, Alaskans appear highly motivated to reshape the State Legislature. With 99.5% of precincts reporting in the state’s primary election it looks as if the State Senate and House may have strong conservative Republican candidates running in the general election this fall.

    That said, there are still more than 30,000 absentee votes that will not be counted until Aug. 25. Several close races could still swing either way.

    Here are some of the highlights with more than 78,000 votes counted so far.

    STATE SENATE

    • District N: Political newcomer Roger Holland seems to have knocked Senate President Cathy Giessel out of the race with 2,586 votes to just 1,010. Holland had a whopping 72% of the vote.
    • District P: Incumbent Gary Stevens is trailing challenger John Cox in a close race. Cox was ahead with 1,403 votes to 1,334 for Stevens.
    • District D: Republican David Wilson seems to have beaten challenger Stephen Wright with 1,249 votes to 1,000.
    • District F: Republican Shelley Hughes earned an impressive 3,522 votes without facing a primary challenger. She now goes against Democratic primary winner Stephany Jeffers had just 950 votes without a challenger.
    • District B: Republican Robert Meyers has a narrow lead over incumbent John Coghill, 1,447 votes to 1,321.
    • District L: Republican Stephen Duplantis appears to have edged out incumbent Natasha Von Imhof with 1,351 votes to 1,266.
    • District M: Incumbent Josh Revak easily staved off a couple challengers in earning 1,653 (65%) votes.

    STATE HOUSE

    • District 7: In a much anticipated and somewhat unexpected result, political newcomer Christopher Kurka easily beat former Alaska legislator Lynn Gattis in the Republican primary. Kurka took a surprising 71% of the vote.
    • District 8: Long time legislator Mark Neuman appears to have suffered a resounding defeat by challenger Kevin McCabe who is leading with 1,377 votes to 809 votes.
    • District 9: Incumbent Republican George Rauscher looks to have staved off a challenge by Lucas Howard – holding a 1,226 to 857 vote lead.
    • District 10: Republican Incumbent David Eastman is in a nail biter with challenger Jesse Sumner. Eastman’s lead is just 1,129 votes to 1,050.
    • District 28: Incumbent Republican Jennifer Johnston was losing by a wide margin to challenger James Kaufman who had 1,625 votes to just 600 for Johnston.
    • District 30: Ronald Gillham will replace the late Gary Knopp who died in a plane crash earlier this month.
    • District 11: Incumbent Republican Delana Johnson easily ran away from challenger Alex Fetta, 1,420 votes to just 415 respectively.
    • District 13: Incumbent Republican Sharon Jackson appears to have lost to challenger Ken McCarty. McCarty took 510 votes to only 351 for Jackson so far.
    • District 15: Incumbent Republican Gabrielle LeDoux lost by a landslide to challenger David Nelson. Nelson earned nearly 80% of the votes counted so far.
    • District 6: Mike Cronk handedly trounced his two challengers on the Republican side, taking in 1,034 votes.
    • District 21: Incumbent Democrat Matt Claman earned 909 votes in an unchallenged primary. Republican Lynette Largent had 849 votes (also unchallenged) and will face Claman in the general.
    • District 24: Incumbent Chuck Kopp was ousted by challenger Thomas McKay who is beating him 1,202 votes to 601.

    U.S. SENATE & HOUSE

    Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan has garnered 46,045 votes in a Republican primary where he faced no one. His main challenger in the general election will be Planned Parenthood-endorsed Al Gross, who earned 22,689 votes in easily winning a five-way contest in the Democratic primary.

    As expected, Rep. Don Young resoundingly defeated his two challengers in the Republican primary. Young took 36,674 of the total 47,097 votes counted so far. On the Democratic side, Alyse Galvin took 24,134 votes (80%) to earn the right to challenge the longest-serving member of the U.S. House, having served 24 terms.

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