In Eagle River’s State Senate Seat L, Kelly Merrick and Ken McCarty are all that remain on the November ballot, after candidates Clayton Trotter and Joe Wright dropped out of the race, leaving a head-to-head race between conservative McCarty and Merrick, who caucused with the Democrats during the past two years.
There will be no ranked-choice mess in the Eagle River Senate race — it’s a back to a binary choice between McCarty or Merrick.
In House races, a total of 26 of the 40 seats have either just one or two candidates on the ballot. There is no ranking involved when there are one or two candidates. Add in the races with three names on the ballot, and fully 35 races out of 40 that three or fewer choices.
Only five House races will have a candidate in all four slots on the ranked choice ballot.
That means just 12.5% of legislative House seats will actually be chosen through a ranked choice method with four candidates. 15% of the seats have only one candidate, and half of the seats being contested are binary from the get-go, with two candidates.
In the Senate, 11 of the 19 seats have two or fewer candidates: 58% of the seats. Another 8 of the 19 have three candidates — 42%.
Others who dropped out by the Sept. 5 Division of Elections deadline include:
Senate Seat J: East Anchorage Democrat Drew Cason withdrew, leaving Democrats Forrest Dunbar and Geran Tarr to battle it out for the liberal vote, while Andrew Satterfield, the Republican, makes his first attempt at elected office. This race has three candidates.
House District 1: Shevaun Meggitt, a Wrangell nonpartisan, dropped out. Left in the race are Democrat-caucusing Rep. Dan Ortiz and Republican Jeremy Bynum. Both are of Ketchikan. This race has two candidates.
House District 10: For South Anchorage, Democrat Sue Levi, a regular on the ballot, dropped out. Remaining on the ballot are Libertarian Mikel Insalco, Democrat Caroline Storm, and Republican former Rep. Craig Johnson. This race has three candidates.
House District 13: Alaskan Independence Party Tim Huit dropped out, so that Republican Kathy Henslee has a clear shot to take on Rep. Andy Josephson for this mid-Anchorage seat. This race has two candidates.
House District 16: Alaska Constitution Party Richard Beckes dropped out, along with Republican Joel McKinney. That leaves Republican Liz Vazquez to face off against Democrat Jennifer Armstrong for west Anchorage. This race has two candidates.
House District 21: Patrick Sharrock, a nonpartisan, dropped from the ballot, leaving Democrat Donna Mears and Republican Forrest Wolfe to duke it out in East Anchorage. This race has two candidates.
House District 22: Republican Lisa Simpson has dropped, and Ted Eischeid, a Democrat, will face off against Republican Stanley Wright. This race has two candidates.
House District 35: Nonpartisan Tim Parker withdrew, and this race is unusual in that it has four candidates left: Republican Kevin McKinley, Republican Ruben McNeill, Alaska Constitution Party Kieran Brown, and Democrat Ashley Carrick. This race has four candidates.
The general election is on Nov. 8, when all candidates on Alaska’s ballots are in ranked choice races — except for the vast majority of them, which are not in races where ranked choice voting can actually be done.