Devastating night for Democrats as Republicans on path to regain solid majority in House

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It was a good night for Republican candidates for the Alaska State House of Representatives. It looks like they have a good shot at regaining the majority in the House in November, with as many as 27 possible seats.

Importantly, no Republican incumbent is in danger from any Democrat anywhere in the state in the Alaska State House races. One, however, is in danger from a fellow Republican challenger: Rep. Ron Gillham of Kenai being challenged by Justin Ruffridge in House District 7. Ruffridge is picking up all the Democrat and moderate votes to possibly overtake solid Republican Gillham in November, when the two will face off again.

In the House, 35 of the 40 seats had three or fewer candidates, which means voters will see the same people on the November ballot. But in November they will be ranking them, rather than doing the “pick one” vote they just did in the primary election.

Analyzing the results, it looks like Democrats can win Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19, and possibly 20. They’ll also win 37, 38, and 39, the most rural areas of the state that always vote Democrat. That’s a minority of 13 in a House of 40.

Republicans look strong for wins in Districts 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, and 40.

A review of the Republican-likely districts:

House District 5: Republican incumbent Rep. Louise Stutes was challenged by Republican Benjamin Vincent, but she took 63.00% of the vote, and Vincent got 37.00%.

House District 6: Republican incumbent Rep. Sarah Vance showed strength in her Homer-Anchor Point district, with 54.59% in a three-way contest.

House District 7: Republican incumbent Rep. Ron Gillham was challenged by Republican Justin Ruffridge, and Ruffridge pulled ahead with 55.97%. This is the Kenai-Soldotna area.

House District 8: Republican incumbent Rep. Ben Carpenter was not challenged. He had 100% of the vote for the bright red Nikiski area.

House District 9: Republican incumbent Rep. Laddie Shaw got 55.79% for this South Anchorage-Girdwood-Whittier seat. Newcomer David Schaaf, part of the farthest of the far left Democrats, lagged with 44.21%.

House District 10: Former Rep. Craig Johnson-R, in a four-way race, still came out strongly ahead with 50.63% for this Anchorage seat in a strong Republican district. He is well-known in this district.

House District 11: Republican Julie Coulombe, in a three-way race, is ahead with 45.62% for this Anchorage seat.

House District 13: Republican Kathy Henslee is challenging Democrat incumbent Rep. Andy Josephson in a district that does not favor Josephson. Henslee won all precincts in that district except for the one that Josephson lives in. In this three-way race that included Alaskan Independence Party candidate Timothy Huit, Henslee got 48.45% of the vote to Josephson’s 45.00%. She should pick up Huit’s second votes in November during the ranked choice process.

House District 15: Republican Rep. Tom McKay is in good shape with 46.11% of the vote in this district that is a little more purple than would be comfortable. But he was in a three-way race and should be able to pick up votes in November to get to 50+1.

House District 18: Republican incumbent Rep. David Nelson was challenged by two Democrats, but came away with 41.93% of the vote. Lyn Franks and Cliff Groh, Democrats, look like they could overtake Nelson if their voters rank them both, but this district is unique in that over half of it is on JBER, the military base, and the residents on base never vote in the primary, but will come out to vote for Nelson in the general election. For Nelson, it’s tight, but not scary tight.

House District 21: Forrest Wolfe, a Republican, is ahead of the Democrat for this east Anchorage seat being vacated by one-termer Rep. Liz Snyder, who is hard Democrat. The question is whether Donna Mears, the Democrat anointed by Snyder, can overtake Wolfe, who now has 49.01% of the vote in the three-way race. He needs 50+1.

House District 22: Stanley Wright and Lisa Simpson, both Republicans, combined to 56% of the vote. In November, if their voters rank them both, one of them can take this seat. Democrat Ted Eischeid now has 41.66% of the vote.

House District 23: Republican Jamie Allard is in the lead over Roger Branson, with 57.84% of the vote. This is an Eagle River seat, and Eagle River is solid red.

House District 24: Former Rep. Dan Saddler, a Republican, is in the lead for this Eagle River seat, with 53.83% of the vote. Republican Sharon Jackson lagged with 25.23% and the Democrat got 20.94%

House District 25: Republican incumbent Rep. DeLena Johnson is safe with 70.55% for this Palmer-area seat.

House District 26: An incredible showing for incumbent Republican Rep. Cathy Tilton, who took 81.36% of the vote for this Valley seat that no longer includes Chugiak. Tilton is House Minority leader.

House District 27: incumbent Republican Rep. David Eastman, in a three-way race, is comfortable with 52.25% for this Wasilla seat.

House District 28: This open Wasilla seat has four Republicans running, with Steve Menard in the lead with 34.37%. It’s a safe seat for the R column. Jesse Sumner will be strong in November, as he came in second with 31.86%.

House District 29: Republican incumbent Rep. George Rauscher is safe in this district, which was called District 9 before redistricting last year. Rauscher has 74.63% of the vote.

House District 30: Republican incumbent Rep. Kevin McCabe is in the lead with 50.45%, while his Republican challenger Doyle Holmes carved out 29.83% of the vote for this geographically stretched Big Lake seat.

House District 31: Republican incumbent Rep. Bart LeBon has 38.40%, with his challenger from the right, Kelly Nash, peeling off 25.39%, but the Democrat in the race is still just at 36.21%. This looks safe for a Republican.

House District 32: Fairbanks open seat shows William Stapp with 48.22%, followed by Timothy Givens with 19.73%, and the Democrat at 32%

House District 33: North Pole Republican Rep. Mike Prax had no competition.

House District 34: In Fairbanks, it appears Democrat Rep. Grier Hopkins is in trouble. The Republican votes between Frank Tomaszewski and Nate DeMars equal more than the Democrat votes for Hopkins. In November, if Republicans rank their ballots, either Tomaszewski or DeMars could oust Hopkins. The district lines do not favor a Democrat winning this seat and Hopkins failed to get a majority with three people on the ballot.

House District 35: A tight race between Republicans and Democrats, but if the Republicans pull themselves together they could beat Ashley Carrick, the Democrat, now in the lead with 39.71%. Republican Kevin McKinley has 28.56%, Republican Ruben McNeill has 12.38%, and no-party candidate Tim Parker has 17.33%. Constitution Party candidate Kieran Brown has 2.02%. In other words, it is mathematically possible for a Republican to win.

House District 36: Tok area voted strongly for Republican incumbent Rep. Mike Cronk, 66.07%.

House District 40: No-party candidate Josiah Patkotak has no competition.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Never, ever, underestimate the ability of the AK GOP to screw things up.

    It was the GOP, in the form of Stutes, Eastman, Bishop etc that screwed up last year.

  2. Why don’t we already know the second choice votes in the U.S. House (interim) race? Surely SOMEONE (the computer?) already knows this information! I cant accept we need to wait 2 weeks for this info regardless of how many votes are yet to come in! WTF!

    • Exactly. If a computer tallied the votes it can assess the percentage and assign the 2nd choices in an instant. This delay is a sign of manipulation and potential corruption

      “Put the ballot in and it will vote for you”

      Direct quote from polling place volunteer.

      Get rid of the machines.

  3. I agree with Chris Nyman. What is going on with the second and third place votes? That should be just as easy to report as any of them. I didn’t see any results from the Mia Costello and Creepy Claman contest.

  4. Looks like we won’t have to listen to “Happy days are here again. The skies above are clear again…” Just more TDS: while watching a lot of Dems take long cruises down “D Nile”.

  5. This is a very optimistic assessment for the Republican side but it is a good overview of what very well might be a wave election. Republican turnout was strong in the interior for example. Two races to watch are Senate District P, and House District 35. Both of these are seats that might flip.

    In P you have a strong moderate republican Mayor, Jim Matherly (R), running against entrenched incumbent Scott Kawasaki (D). If Republicans in House Districts 31 and 32 get out and vote Matherly could win that Senate seat, but the voting in this primary was weak. In HD 35 you have two democrats (Carrick and Parker) at 57% total, and two Republicans (McKinley (moderate) and McNeil (conservative) at 40%+. The Republicans are going to have to overcome a 10% spread to win.

    So the devil is in the details. We can’t be too optimistic and we cannot be complacent. It’s very important that we win all of these contests if that is at all possible.

  6. Ruffridge is a hard-core COVIDian scumbag and I wouldn’t put it past him to caucus with the Dems if he gets elected. His sign game is definitely stronger than Gillham’s – he’s flooding the roadsides with his name, so I’m not surprised he’s pulling ahead given how important name ID is in these small races.

    Not my district, however, so I unfortunately can’t vote against him.

  7. Ortiz in Ketchikan also looks like he may be vulnerable this time. Only received 51% of the vote in the primary. I think his challenger could pick it off if he gets a little more cash.

  8. About that ‘I Voted Sticker’
    – Drag Queen in heels on the left,
    – Alaska Girl in Xtra Tuffs at center,
    – Grandma in running shoes on the right!

  9. Republicans in Alaska won nothing! Six RINOS were selected for us by the neo-aristocracy. If anything, the State legislature will be more conflicted than usual.

  10. It may have been a devastating night for Democrats but will the Republicans form a coalition and hold that coalition or will they act in their own self interest like they have in the past? So many have an R after their name but have not been taught what that means.

  11. Iā€™m excited to see if the radical liberal Harriett Drummond can unseat the radical Marxist Zack Fields in District 17.

Comments are closed.