Candidate drop-out date comes and goes, leaving most state races left with no actual ‘ranked choice’ on the ballot


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.


  1. “Only a Democrat sympathizer would selfishly stay in this race, after getting licked three times in a row by his GOP opponent, only to enable a Democrat to hold the Alaskan people’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Sarah Palin

    • Palin is an embarrassment. She claims to live in Alaska but didn’t know we had ranked choice voting until 2 weeks after entering the race. She was a disaster of a governor who became more conservative after bowing out of her duties as governor to pursue money on the talk show circuit. No thanks, been there done that. Her negativity to too toxic for many to vote for.

    • All in your narrow mind!! Golly Gee drill baby drill unbelievable you must be a sympathizer of the quitters. Nick is well established. He was raised by his mothers parents who are not related to the Begich family. He is not part of that family. connected only because of his last nome, which he cannot help. He has worked hard for youth groups here and over the USA and also Alaska school district in years past..To many accomplishments to list here. Get your fingers busy and check you will be surprised of his accomplishments. But of course you won’t try to educate yourself!! Might prove your brain is on vacation. Most people check the past life from childhood up before making stupid remarks about candidate.

    • Bob, Thanks for reminding us of S.P.’s words above. Who backed Walker? S.P. Who is pals with Mary? That again would be S.P. Who indicated that she would vote for Mary as her second? Oh, that would also be S. P.
      Who is sympathetic with Dem’s? The person who has 61% negative polling, her name is Sarah Palin.

      What is missing here is why S.P. won’t debate Nick or Mary, unless of course she gets the questions 3 days prior to the event. I suppose S.P. is so out of touch with the issues she might look worse on the debate stage then she did in that video clip of her “press conference”. It really is painful watching this unstable woman melt down. Somebody close to her needs to do an intervention! And quickly!

      God Bless young Nick for the work he is doing staying in the race. Make Alaska Great Again! Elect Nick!

  2. Clayton Trotter, you were a great candidate. Sorry to see you go, but thanks for stepping aside to give conservatives the best chance in November. Hope to see you on another ballot in the future. McCarty still gives us a pretty solid choice. Still not sure how Merrick got over 50% in conservative Eagle River after crossing over to caucus with the Dems . . . Can only hope that a large number could not decide and are waiting to voice their choice for the anti-Merrick union candidate in November.

  3. Hey Trevor. Sarah has always maintained ownership of her Wasilla home. Yes she had to go outside to make money as a Celebraty, Professional Campaigner for people like Ted Cruz, Nikki Haley, and Rand Paul to name a few, she also got paid as Public Speaker, THAT’S HOW SHE MADE A LIVIING. She is a self-made person, no famous family name, generations of family political experience and connections. Just a Wasilla good ol girl Honestly WINNING, and ALMOST WINNING ELECTIONS and Serving The Office she WON. TEARS from Trevor won’t change that.

    • MyMy typical living in the past. You throw names out there, she got those names by supporting them so in return Political payback!! She was on her daughters reality show, how much laundry can she put out there for all of the USA to see and smirk at. Really? all for the mighty dollar soooooo important
      get a grip and check her opponent you might learn about someone that was not raised to take job and throw it and the people of this state away Iknow you like a few others will not use a stale brain to actually find out about who he is.

    • right she kept the home. Had to something when a chance for some race to come around AND it did when Don passed away. 9like a chicken on a june bug real farm talk) needed a place to stay while running.

  4. I was hoping Mr. Begich would do the honorable thing – and take a note from my playbook. Let Palin get 60% this round and then crush her in the November election when she has been groomed for a cabinet position. Working together would have been So Much more productive.. Who the heck is Peltola? … just what we need…. Another rubber stamp for Adolf Sniffler.

  5. Nobody needs to drop out of the congressional race. If all Republicans will rank a second Republican, a Republican will win.

    • The problem of course, is that home-girl Sarah told her supporters to 2nd rank Peltola, not the red.

      That’s the kind of “staunch conservative” she is!
      (Well, I almost typed that with a straight face.

  6. I see that Kelly Merrick’s illegally posted signs have been removed in Chugiak. She was running on the uninformed voter’s name recognition of the name Kelly, and I saw her people putting up the signs late at night before the primary election on undeveloped property. Evidently, the property owners had them removed. Guess that group is desperate. But still, her first name won enough votes to put her in the running. Sad. Uninformed voters will go for name recognition, just like the old commander in my Air Force days, who promoted an Airman because he had seen his name so many times. Unfortunately, it was all for bad things.

  7. Will the general be mail-in?
    These days I can’t hardly figure out where my mailbox is, much less my polling place…

  8. Don’t bullet vote. It opens up the very real possibility that biased a or corrupt election official(s) could rank your vote for you with just the swipe of a pen! We are only now realizing that there are many ways to manipulate RCV voting.

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