With the ranked choice voting tabulation completed on Nov. 23, Republicans have slim advantages in both the State House and Senate.

There will be 11 Republicans in the 20-member Senate, and 21 Republicans in the 40-member House.

Several close races were decided on Nov. 23, when the Division of Elections conducted the computerized ranked-choice tabulation.

Former State Senator Cathy Giessel beat the far more conservative incumbent Roger Holland. While both are Republicans, Giessel is, by far the more left leaning. She supports legal abortion and has catered to Democratic voters in the lead up to the general election.

In the other ranked-choice showdowns for the Senate, Jesse Bjorkman defeated Tuckerman Babcock, and incumbent David Wilson held off Stephen Wright. All of those candidates are Republicans.

On the House side, seven races were determined by ranked-choice runoffs.

In the closest race, Republican incumbent Rep. Tom McKay came from behind to beat Democratic challenger Denny Wells by just four votes – 3,472 to 3,468. Before the ranked-choice tabulation, McKay trailed Wells by 575 votes. He picked up the majority of fellow Republican David Eibeck’s second-choice votes (once he was eliminated), however, and that was enough to put him barely over the top.

In House District 11, Republican Julie Coulombe also came from behind to beat the “nonpartisan” Walter Featherly, once the ranked-choice votes were redistributed.

In House District 18, incumbent Republican David Nelson lost to Democrat Cliff Groh.

In House District 28, Jesse Sumner defeated fellow Republican Steve Menard. Likewise, in District 30, incumbent Republican Kevin McCabe defeated fellow Republican Doyle Holmes.

Democrat Maxine Dibert defeated Republican incumbent Bart LeBon in District 31, while Republican Frank Tomaszewski bested incumbent Democrat Grier Hopkins in District 34.

The results are still unofficial until they are certified on Nov. 29. Candidates then have a five-day window in which they can request a recount.

Based on the unofficial results, this is what the Alaska Senate and House will look like during the next legislative session, which begins on January 17, 2023.


— Bert Stedman

— Gary Stevens

— Jesse Bjorkman

— Cathy Giessel

— James Kaufman

— Kelly Merrick

— Shelley Hughes

— David Wilson

— Mike Shower

— Robert Myers

— Click Bishop


— Jesse Kiehl

— Elvi Gray-Jackson

— Matt Claman

— Loki Tobin

— Forrest Dunbar

— Bill Wielechowski

— Scott Kawasaki

— Lyman Hoffman

— Donny Olson


— Louise Stutes

— Sarah Vance

— Justin Ruffridge

— Ben Carpenter

— Laddie Shaw

— Craig Johnson

— Julie Coulombe

— Thomas McKay

— Stanley Wright

— Jamie Allard

— Dan Saddler

— DeLena Johnson

— Cathy Tilton

— David Eastman

— Jesse Sumner

— George Rauscher

— Kevin McCabe

— Will Stapp

— Mike Prax

— Frank Tomaszewski

— Mike Cronk


— Dan Ortiz

— Andi Story

— Sara Hannan

— Andy Josephson

— Alyse Galvin

— Jennie Armstrong

— Zack Fields

— Cliff Groh

— Geneveive Mina

— Andrew Gray

— Donna Mears

— Maxine Dibert

— Ashley Carrick

— Conrad McCormick

— Neal Foster


— Rebecca Himschoot

— Calvin Schrage

— Josiah Patkotak


— Bryce Edgmon

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Alaska Republicans have a majority in both State House and Senate, but margins are close

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Neil DeWitt says:

    It’s funny why it takes so long to finally fund out what most of us knew from the start. RCV put a bunch of undeserving people in Juneau. Alaska didn’t need RINO Republicans we need real Republicans that will do what the people want. We know the democrats won’t be fair or honest. All I can say is I’m going to be mighty upset if on day one of the next legislative session we. ant pick a chair and by that afternoon be working. This garbage where the RINO’s aline with democrats and then sit on their thumbs for 30-45 days is b.s. We shouldn’t have to pay you if your not doing our work. It’s like any employee no work no pay. So I say you better get it together right now and have it straight on day one. Your days of no work are over. You have 90 days to work for us and you better get it done.

  • Larry Wood says:

    Louise Stutes is not a Republican in any manner form or way. Willing to bet money that she is once again elected Speaker. Not enough conservatives in the R mix to upset the status quo. Well, we have what we have and the money will flow for socialism like water in a spring runoff. The woke and LGBTQ agendas will not be stopped, and the transgender insanity will be forced upon the kids. I don’t get how a bunch of women legislators could let this mess into our schools? Most have kids and some grandkids. Our governor is certainly no bar to anything these days. The Dunleavy whose campaign I supported is not this guy.

  • Mike Coons says:

    Looking at the results, this is what I counted.
    Senate 9 Dems, 6 RINO’s, 3 Conservatives 2 ? Bjorkman and Kaufman. Will Kaufman caucus with the 3 Conservatives? All indications Brjokman will caucus with RINO’s. Wilson has said that there will be a combined caucus of Dems and RINO’s (he didn’t admit to that word) which will be a 17 to 3. Even if James Kaufman does caucus with Shelley, Mike and Bob, that is only 4 in the minority. Even if and that is big if Brjokman were to causes with the the 4 above, that would only be a total of 5. My understanding, coming from David Wilson is to have a Minority 6 is needed.
    Senator Hughes has laid down the law to the solid 6 RINO’s to maintain a “Republican” Majority. I’m not betting they will. So effectively we are screwed in the Senate with the 9 Dems and 6 for sure RINO’s and maybe the other 2, that gives a Majority of 17 Dem/RINO Binding Caucus in the Senate. All those in the Senate Districts with Shelley, Mike and Bob are in the cold looking in!
    Hang tight Shelley, Mike and Bob! Let your voices be heard on the floor on every vote!
    As to the House. 16 are Democrats, Ortiz and Shrage and Patkotak are so called Non Affiliated but Caucus with the Dems which gives Dems solid 19. There may be some question if Himshoot and Patkotack will caucus may caucus with the Republicans. We can only wait and see. I am going on the assumption that all 4 NON’s will caucus with the Dems, that gives the Dems a total of 20. Of those who ran as with an R we know Stutues is a RINO, a big question on Stapp, Saddler has a history of RINO, No personal idea on Ruffridge hearing a RINO, Coulombe no idea about, Wright again no idea, no idea about Tomaszewski. I count 14 with solid history of voting as Republicans and in the Republican Minority in the past. That leaves 4 new and 2 (Stutes and Saddler) who I don’t trust. Even if all with R do stay together that gives a 21 “majority”. If and that is a BIG IF, can Cathy Tilton get the votes to be Speaker of the House? No love lost with Stutes and Cathy, so if what I think Stutes will do is vote NO on Cathy a 20/20 tie. We are back to the same crap that happened that got Stutes in! What was it, a couple weeks that the House was non-functional?
    From what I see the only good news is even with the questionable, we have the votes to stop any veto overrides in the future. I do hope that the Governor will not be the “nice guy” like he was last 4 years. We need to send to him thousands of RED PENS!

  • M.John says:

    Nope, the margins are NOT close. RINOs are lefties. – M.John

  • Steve Peterson says:

    Six of the Senate Rs are RINOS to my knowledge. One of the House Rs is a die hard RINO, maybe more. The Senate will lean left, but maybe the House not so much.