Southeast Voters Return 4 Incumbents To Office, 1 Race Too Close To Call

Southeast Alaska voters on Tuesday returned four incumbents to the state Legislature, but the fifth race is far too close to call.

That’s in House District 36, which includes Ketchikan, Wrangell and Prince of Wales Island. Ketchikan independent Daniel Ortiz, a teacher, is 19 votes – or .37 percent – ahead of Ketchikan Republican Chere Klein, an aide to outgoing Rep. Peggy Wilson.

Absentee and questioned ballots will determine the final result.

In House District 35, Sitka Democratic Incumbent Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins topped Petersburg Republican Steven Samuelson by more than 1,100 votes.

Overall, Kreiss-Tomkins had 60 percent of the vote to Samuelson’s 40 percent. In addition to Sitka and Petersburg, the district includes Hoonah, Kake, Angoon and some other villages.

In Senate District Q, Juneau incumbent Democrat Dennis Egan beat Juneau Republican challenger Tom Williams by more than a 5,900-vote margin. Overall, Egan won 72 percent of the votes, while Williams had only 28 percent. In addition to Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Klukwan and Gustavus are among cities in the district.

In House District 33, Juneau incumbent Democrat Sam Kito III won 3,300 more votes than Juneau Republican challenger Peter Dukowitz.

The percentage spread was 76-24. Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Klukwan and Gustavus are in that district too.

In House District 34, incumbent Juneau Republican Cathy Muñoz beat Juneau Democrat George McGuan by almost 1,800 votes.

The percentage split was 62-38. The district represents Juneau’s Mendenhall Valley, Auke Bay and neighborhoods to the north.

All precincts are included in the totals.

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Ed Schoenfeld is Regional News Director for CoastAlaska, a consortium of public radio stations in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell. He primarily covers Southeast Alaska regional topics, including the state ferry system, transboundary mining, the Tongass National Forest and Native corporations and issues. He has also worked as a manager, editor and reporter for the Juneau Empire newspaper and Juneau public radio station KTOO. He’s also reported for commercial station KINY in Juneau and public stations KPFA in Berkley, WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and WUHY in Philadelphia. He’s lived in Alaska since 1979 and is a contributor to Alaska Public Radio Network newscasts, the Northwest (Public Radio) News Network and National Native News. He is a board member of the Alaska Press Club. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he lives in Douglas.