The Tuesday primary for Alaska State Senate showed solid results for Republican candidates, although a couple of incumbents may be picked off by fellow Republican candidates in the Nov. 8 general election.
Republicans are poised to pick up one seat from Democrats in November and no Republican senators are in serious danger from a Democrat threat. These are the seats that may make up the Republican majority in January:
Senate Seat A: In Sitka-Southeast, incumbent Republican Sen. Bert Stedman is comfortable with 67.22% of the primary vote against Republican Michael Sheldon.
Senate Seat C: In Kodiak-Homer, incumbent Republican Sen. Gary Stevens, who used to represent Senate Seat P, is in the lead with 61.61% of the vote. Both of his challengers are Republicans, but combined only received 39%.
Senate Seat D: Tuckerman Babcock has over 50% of the vote in this three-way race, and it looks like he’ll be the leader as Jesse Bjorkman trails far behind with 35.60%. A third candidate, not aligned with a party, got 14.35%.
Senate Seat E: This is a south Hillside district in Anchorage, and incumbent Republican Sen. Roger Holland was surprised by former Sen. Cathy Giessel, a Bill Walker-endorsing Republican, getting ahead of him. Giessel has 36.12% and Holland has 31.23%, with the Democrat taking about 32%.
Senate Seat F: Republican Rep. James Kaufman is in solid condition for the general election with 56%.
Senate Seat H: Although Republican Sen. Mia Costello is trailing behind Democrat Rep. Matt Claman by 200 votes, she has not really started to campaign, and Claman spent $70,000 or more to get ahead of her, yet didn’t perform that well. Costello can win this district when she sets her goals on winning. It’s 50.91% to 49.09% at this point, with months to go.
Senate Seat L: Rep. Kelly Merrick, a representative who is a registered Republican but votes with the House Democrats, did surprisingly well with 53% of the vote in a four-way race for the conservative district. Merrick is unpredictable as a lawmaker but will probably join the majority Republicans — for now.
Senate Seat M: Incumbent Republican Sen. Shelley Hughes easily dominated with 77% of the vote for this Valley seat.
Senate Seat N: Incumbent Republican Sen. David Wilson is in a good position with 46% of the vote against two other Republicans, Scott D Clayton, and Stephen Wright.
Senate Seat O: Incumbent Republican Sen. Mike Shower has a strong challenge from Republican Doug Massie, who has picked up 53.29% of the vote. Shower may end up going back to flying commercial cargo jets full time. Right now, he has 46.71% of the vote.
Senate Seat P: Jim Matherly did very well in Fairbanks and is poised to beat incumbent Democrat Sen. Scott Kawasaki in December. It’s Matherly at 45.73%, with Kawasaki at 47.79% and Republican Alex Jafre at 6.48%.
Senate Seat Q: Incumbent Republican Sen. Robert Myers easily won with 64.02% against two other candidates.
Senate Seat R: Incumbent Republican Sen. Click Bishop easily bested Elijah Verhagen, 56.94% to 25.69%, with Robert Williams, an AIP candidate, peeling off 17.37%.
Senate Seat S: Sen. Lyman Hoffman, a Democrat, often makes a deal to join the Republican caucus. Must Read Alaska marks him safe with over 61% of the vote for his rural Alaska district.