The Latest: Dunleavy leads Begich in Alaska governor’s race

November 7, 2018
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Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunleavy reacts to early favorable returns with state party chair Tuckerman Babcock in Anchorage, Alaska Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 In Anchorage, Alaska. Dunleavy is in a tight race with Democrat Mark Begich. (AP Photo/Michael Dinneen)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on Alaska’s Nov. 6 general election:

12:50 a.m.

Republican Mike Dunleavy held a lead over Democrat Mark Begich after Tuesday’s election. But the race was considered too early to call.

As of 12:15 a.m. Wednesday, Dunleavy held a lead of 21,788 votes out of nearly 230,000 ballots counted. Roughly 20 percent of votes in Alaska are counted after Election Day.

Dunleavy, however, claimed victory. In a statement, he said he takes seriously the task ahead of him.

Dunleavy is a former state senator. He was the presumed front-runner for much of the race, which, until mid-October, included Gov. Bill Walker.

Walker ended his campaign days after Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott resigned over what Walker described as an inappropriate overture to a woman. Walker said he voted for Begich.

Initial results showed Walker receiving a small percentage of votes.


12:05 a.m.

U.S. Rep. Don Young said he was a little surprised by the margin of victory.

The 85-year-old Republican defeated Alyse Galvin for his 24th term in the U.S. House. He’s the longest-serving member of the body.

He said he got more votes in this election than in the last few, and this came when everyone had him down to Galvin.

Young says he feels good about his campaign.

He says he was able to prove that Alaskans appreciate what he’s been able to do.

And he adds that he’s “going to have a good two years ahead of us.”


Alaska Republican Don Young has been elected to his 24th term. He is the longest-serving member of the U.S. House.

Young defeated Alyse Galvin, an education advocate who ran as an independent with support from the Democratic Party.

Young is a former school teacher who served in the Alaska Legislature and was first elected to Congress in 1973. He has rarely faced strong challenges.

Young and Galvin met in several testy debates. After one, Young accused her of being nasty to him. At the conclusion of another, Galvin complained that Young’s handshake had hurt her hand.

At one debate, Young told the audience that if they think Galvin can do a better job, then they should vote for her.


10:55 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Don Young was hoping to stave off further Democratic gains the U.S. House in his bid for a 24th term.

Young and his opponent, Alyse Galvin, remained in a close contest late Tuesday night.

Democrats were bolstered by wins in House races across the nation. Even though she is an independent, Galvin has said she would caucus with Democrats if she won.

Young, a Republican, is the longest-serving member of the House. He was elected in 1973. Galvin is making her first run for political office.


10:45 p.m.

Republican Mike Dunleavy held an edge over Democrat Mark Begich in early returns in Alaska’s governor race.

Dunleavy is a former state senator. He had been the presumed front-runner for much of the race, which, until mid-October, included Gov. Bill Walker.

The independent Walker ended his campaign days after Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott resigned over what Walker described as an inappropriate overture to a woman.

Walker said he voted for Begich, a former mayor of Anchorage and one-term U.S. senator.

Begich said he had momentum heading into Tuesday’s election but worried voters might be confused since Walker’s name was still on the ballot.

Early results showed Walker receiving a small percentage of votes.


5:05 p.m.

The Alaska Division of Elections says it provided guidance to poll workers on what to say if voters asked about the governor’s race.

Gov. Bill Walker ended his campaign last month, leaving Democrat Mark Begich and Republican Mike Dunleavy as the major candidates. Libertarian Billy Toien also is running.

Walker’s name, however, remains on the ballot. The deadline to withdraw had passed when he dropped his campaign.

Walker voted early and said he voted for Begich.

Division of Elections spokeswoman Samantha Miller says poll workers were provided with a statement if they were asked about the race.

The statement says no candidate for governor or lieutenant governor withdrew by the deadline and that a vote for a candidate on the ballot will count for that candidate.


4:25 p.m.

Parts of northwestern Alaska are spending Election Day under a winter storm warning.

Samantha Miller is a spokeswoman for the Division of Elections. She says the division heard that about half of Kivalina was without electricity. But she says there have been no disruptions to voting.

Kivalina is about 80 air miles northwest of Kotzebue.

Elsewhere in the state, Miller says the division received a couple reports of campaign signs being used within 200 feet (60 meters) of a polling place. She did not have information about which campaign signs were involved. But she says the incidents were resolved.


3:30 p.m.

Republican Don Young, Alaska’s only representative in the U.S. House, found support among noontime voters Tuesday in south Anchorage.

Ryan Hansen cast his ballot for Young at Kincaid Elementary School and said the incumbent is good for the state on resource development. Hansen says Young is a staple of Alaska and as long as Young wants to keep running, he will support him.

Hansen said Young’s opponent, independent Alyse Galvin, was “too much of an unknown.”

Sheila Hill and Cliff Johnson voted for Young and cited his record of bringing federal resources to the state.

Dean Paul, who calls himself a non-partisan and disability advocate, said he was on the fence in the U.S. House race but chose Young.

He says Young is a known quantity and that he’s supported people with disabilities.


3:15 p.m.

Alaska Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Begich is getting help in his get-out-the-vote effort from former Vice President Joe Biden.

Begich’s campaign sent a message from Biden to supporters Tuesday urging them to vote.

Begich campaign manager Nora Morse says by text message that Begich asked for Biden’s help.

Morse says former President Barack Obama did a robocall encouraging people in rural Alaska to vote. But she says the call did not mention Begich.

Begich’s main rival in the governor’s race is Republican Mike Dunleavy. Dunleavy’s campaign manager said Monday that robocalls on behalf of Dunleavy would go out from President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.


3 p.m.

Catherine Bailey and her husband Mark Jones cast their votes Tuesday in Alaska’s U.S. House race. Both staunchly backed political newcomer Alyse Galvin, an independent challenging the 85-year-old Republican Rep. Don Young.

For one thing, the Anchorage couple believes Young is out of touch and in office far too long. For another, they believe Galvin offers the best shot at making sure to hold President Donald Trump responsible, according to Bailey, a registered Democrat. Jones, who is registered as an independent, agrees.

The way Bailey sees it, Trump has no idea what leadership is and the Congressional majority has given him the green light to do whatever he wants to do. Bailey says the Congress Trump has “right now is unforgivable.”


2:15 p.m.

One Anchorage polling location had everything it needed when polls opened at 7 a.m. except the ballots.

Samantha Miller, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Division of Elections, says the chairperson for the polling location at Romig Middle School forgot the ballots at home.

The official left the poll at 7 a.m. to retrieve the ballots, and was back at 7:30 a.m.

Miller says the polling location remained opened and voters had the option of casting ballots on touch screens instead.

She says it’s not clear why poll workers didn’t give voters the option of voting sample ballots, and are investigating.


1:15 p.m.

Kris Abel of Anchorage cast his vote Tuesday in Alaska’s U.S. House race with a big goal on his mind: flipping the House to favor Democrats.

That meant a vote for political newcomer Alyse Galvin, an independent challenging the 85-year-old Republican incumbent, Don Young, the longest-serving member of the House. Abel wants to put more congressional reins on President Donald Trump.

In the Alaska governor’s race, Abel, a registered Democrat, threw his support to Democrat Mark Begich, a former U.S. senator and Anchorage mayor.

Abel says if the incumbent governor, Bill Walker, had not withdrawn from the race, however, that would have complicated matters. He says he might have voted for Walker in that case.


11:40 a.m.

Anchorage resident Lauren Agee, a registered Republican, was among voters who turned out Tuesday morning to cast a ballot. In the governor’s race, she voted for Republican Mike Dunleavy, a former state senator.

To Agee, a big issue in the race was Alaska’s Permanent Fund, whose dividend checks have been capped since 2016 amid a budget deficit. She thinks Dunleavy is the one to restore dividends back to their full amount.

For U.S. House, Agee went with U.S. Rep. Don Young, the longest-serving member of that chamber. There was no overriding issue that got her vote, she said. She said she was going by Young’s long history in Congress. She said she also was raised Republican, so she went with what she knows.


10 a.m.

Residents of the Kenai Peninsula are reporting vandalism on campaign signs in the run-up to the Alaska general election on Tuesday.

Kenai radio station KSRM reports residents took to social media, including Facebook, to ask vandals to “be respectful and stop” damaging signs.

Signs supporting Republican State Sen. Peter Micciche (mih-CHIK’-ee) have borne the brunt of the damage.

The incumbent seeking to retain his seat in District O has had signs both damaged and stolen.

Micciche’s campaign says 33 large signs and sandbags that hold them in place have been stolen or destroyed. The campaign estimates the loss at $3,600.

Micciche’s district covers Kenai, Soldotna, Seward, Nikiski, Funny River, Sterling, Cooper Landing and Moose Pass.


12:01 a.m.

Polls in Alaska will open at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Voters across the nation’s largest state will then have 13 hours to cast their ballots in the midterm elections.

Among the high-profile races are those for governor and U.S. House.

Alaska is expected to have a new governor as the incumbent, Gov Bill Walker, dropped his re-election bid last month. The major candidates remaining are Democrat Mark Begich and Republican Mike Dunleavy.

In the U.S. House race, Republican Rep. Don Young has been in office for 45 years and wants to be re-elected. Standing in his way is political newcomer Alyse Galvin, an independent who won the Democratic primary.

The polls close at 8 p.m. The first results won’t be released until 9 p.m. or so.