Parnell, Young Win Handily; Senate Seat Drama Begins

Staff, APRN – Anchorage

Lisa Murkowski appears to have beaten the odds. As of this morning, the incumbent senator’s write-in campaign has apparently garnered 41 percent of the vote, compared with fellow Republican’s Joe Miller’s approximate 34 percent.   Democrat Scott McAdams ran third with about 23 percent of the vote.

How many of the write-ins are actually Murkowski’s has yet to be determined.  The counting process could take days or weeks.

In the U.S. Representative race, Don Young easily beat Democrat challenger Harry Crawford, by a  2-to-1 margin.  This will be Young’s 20th term in Congress.

Republican Sean Parnell will remain in the governor’s mansion for his first full term. Parnell and his running mate, Mead Treadwell, received about 57 percent. Democrats Ethan Berkowitz and Diane Benson tallied only about 38 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile, in the legislature Republicans gained two seats and now have 24 members.  But the Senate remains a 10-to-10 split along party lines, with Anchorage’s Catherine Giessel keeping Con Bunde’s former seat within the Republican fold.

In the house races, Mike Kelly, Republican incumbent, is trailing Democrat Bob Miller by about 700 votes in Fairbanks.  But Interior incumbent Woody Salmon is down about the same number to his Republican challenger, Alan Dick.

Anchorage Democrat Bob Buch has fallen to Republican Mia Costello, and in  the Anchorage seat Harry Crawford left to challenge Don Young, Lance Pruitt, a Republican, defeated Democrat Barbara Norton.

Surviving a social conservative campaign, Justice Dana Fabe keeps her place on the state’s Supreme Court with a 53 percent voter approval.

The voters also approved $400 million in state bonds for school and university projects across the state. The projects include a major science facility at UAF and a sports complex at UAA. They also extended by six more years a special mortgage program for veterans.  The mortgage program does not impact general tax payers, but is covered by the mortgage holders.

Voters rejected a proposal to increase the number of state legislators – the Senate by two members and the House by four. The vote was 60 percent opposed, 40 percent in favor.

The results remain unofficial until certified, a process which could be delayed pending the tally of the write-in votes in the U.S. Senate race.

Photo by Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

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