Gross concedes Alaska US Senate race to Sullivan; Galvin concedes to Rep. Young

a person on a tv monitor and a person behind a podium with their arms up
Incumbent Sen. Dan Sullivan (left) and Congressional candidate Dr. Al Gross (right) debate for one of Alaska’s U.S. Senate seats, on October 23 at Debate for the State. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

There are still more ballots to count, but U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young seem to have cemented their re-election.

“It’s become mathematically clear that I’ve been honored by the trust Alaskans have placed in me to continue representing our great state in the United States Senate for the next six years,” Sullivan told reporters.

Challenger Al Gross called Sullivan to concede the race Friday.

“Even though we have passionate policy disagreements on what is best for Alaska, what is important now is that all Alaskans come together after a free and fair election,” Gross said in an emailed statement afterward.

U.S. House candidate Alyse Galvin also conceded.

“This morning I called Don Young to congratulate him on being elected to his 25th term in Congress,” she said in a recorded video posted on social media. “Unfortunately, his staff was not able to get him on the phone, and I left him a voicemail. I hope he gets well soon.”

Young announced via Twitter yesterday he tested positive for COVID-19. The tweet said he was feeling strong. No updates were available today. It’s unclear if Young’s reason for not taking Galvin’s call had anything to do with his health.

RELATED: Alaska Rep. Don Young, 87, says he’s been diagnosed with COVID-19

Meanwhile, ballot-counting goes on. As of Thursday night, Sullivan had about 54% of the vote. Gross was at 41%.  Alaska Independence Party candidate John Wayne Howe had nearly 5%

It was an expensive race, with the Gross campaign outraising Sullivan, $17 million to $10 million.

Other groups, like the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, weighed in with another $27 million. Of those independent expenditures, two-thirds was aimed at unseating Sullivan.

In the U.S. House race, Young had just over 54% of the vote as of last night. Galvin had about 45%. 

At the top of the ticket, President Donald Trump won Alaska by a wide margin, but Joe Biden got more than 42%. His campaign in Alaska predicts that, in the final count, Biden will be the most successful Democratic presidential candidate in Alaska since Lyndon Johnson won the state in 1964.

Sullivan told reporters he has not contacted Biden to congratulate him but he said he has no doubt there will be a peaceful transfer of power on January 20. Sullivan said Trump has the right to look into perceived irregularities but would have to prove them in court, which Sullivan called a high bar. He also said he would not object if Biden began receiving intelligence briefings now to prepare for the transition.

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Liz Ruskin covers Alaska issues in Washington as the network's D.C. correspondent. She was born in Anchorage and is a West High grad. She has degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. She previously worked at the Homer News, the Anchorage Daily News and the Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers. She also freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013. She's @lruskin on Twitter. She welcomes your news tips at lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz