Gov. Mike Dunleavy has won reelection with over 50% of the first-place votes cast. The Division of Elections ran the final remaining absentee ballots through the ballot tabulator, and while other statewide candidates will have to go through the ranked-choice process later today, not Gov. Dunleavy or Lt. Gov.-elect Nancy Dahlstrom. The final count for the pair was 50.28%.
He is the first Republican governor to be reelected in Alaska since Gov. Jay Hammond in 1978.
“Alaskans, thank you for voting and for your continued support over the past four years. From public safety and improving our education outcomes to growing our economy, I am honored to serve Alaskans for another four years,” Dunleavy said. He sees it as an affirmation of where the administration is going in addressing crime, the Permanent Fund dividend, and food security, as well as lowering energy costs. He said there is still a lot of work to do with food security, education and more.
Second-placer Democrat Les Gara received 24.21% of first-choice votes and Bill Walker, who served as governor from 2014-2018, was third with 20.73%. Charlie Pierce, former mayor of Kenai Borough, got 4.48% of the first-choice ballots.
Democratic former state lawmaker Les Gara earned 24% of first-choice votes. Independent former Gov. Bill Walker earned 21%. Both spent much of their campaigns attacking Dunleavy’s education and fiscal policies.
Republican former Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce — who faces sexual harassment allegations from a former employee — earned less than 5% of first-choice votes after mounting a feeble campaign.
In Alaska’s ranked-choice voting, candidates that get more than 50%+1 votes do not go through the ranking process, in which second-, third-, and fourth-place votes are reassigned through a complicated system that many Alaskans still do not understand.
With 263,296 ballots counted in the governor’s race, how voters decided to rank other candidates on their ballots will be released at a later date.
For now, the Division of Elections is preparing to push the tabulation button so Alaskans will know how the other candidates in statewide and legislative races fared. That story will be posted soon.