Bell, French Race Remains Close, Awaits Absentee Ballots

The most expensive Alaska Senate race was also the closest last night.

Incumbent Democratic Senator Hollis French eked out a win for a newly drawn district that includes Sand Lake and West Anchorage. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, French has about 51 percent of the vote compared with 49 percent for his challenger, Anchorage businessman Bob Bell. They are separated by 247 votes and there are still more than 1,500 absentee ballots to count.

Bell says it was a wild ride last night. And he isn’t optimistic about his chances to win the race, but he isn’t conceding yet.

French is optimistic his win will hold. The Division of Elections will begin counting absentee ballots in the race on Nov. 13.

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Annie Feidt is the Managing Editor for Alaska's Energy Desk, a collaboration between Alaska Public Media in Anchorage, KTOO Public Media in Juneau and KUCB in Unalaska. Her reporting has taken her searching for polar bears on the Chukchi Sea ice, out to remote checkpoints on the Iditarod Trail, and up on the Eklutna Glacier with scientists studying its retreat. Her stories have been heard nationally on NPR and Marketplace. Annie’s career in radio journalism began in 1998 at Minnesota Public Radio, where she produced the regional edition of All Things Considered. She moved to Anchorage in 2004 with her husband, intending to stay in the 49th state just a few years. She has no plans to leave anytime soon. afeidt (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8443 | About Annie