Election update: Tshibaka pulls ahead by a hair, Rep. Neal Foster holds on by just three votes, Sen. Costello concedes


The Division of Elections released another batch of election results from the Nov. 8 election. This batch, including many from the Fairbanks area, shows Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka has pulled slightly ahead of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, 104,898 to 104,470. That’s 43.28%-43.11%, advantage Tshibaka, but Murkowski is expected to win when the final tabulation is done on Tuesday, as she will pick up most of Democrat Pat Chesbro’s 24,377 second-choice votes.

In the House race, Congresswoman Mary Peltola, a Democrat, now has 117,686 votes, having gained another 1,364 since the last batch count on Wednesday, with Sarah Palin coming in second with 63,608, and Nick Begich third with 57,900 votes. Only if Begich voters marked Palin second

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has maintained his lead of 124,610 to Democrat Les Gara’s 58,273, and former Gov. Bill Walker is at 50,018. It appears Gara and Walker have no viable way to catch Dunleavy, who is still at nearly 51% of the first-choice vote.

Today’s count includes House District 31-36 absentee ballots received through Nov 17 (all counts), House District 36 questioned ballots (all counts), early vote ballots cast at the Region III (Fairbanks) early voting location (including ballots from other regions).

In House District 39, the Nome area and north, Democrat Rep. Neal Foster is ahead of Alaskan Independence Party Tyler Ivanoff of Shishmaref by just three votes. This one will likely go to a recount and shows some level of dissatisfaction with Foster in an area he has represented since Nov. 15, 2009, after the death of his father, Rep. Richard Foster.

In Anchorage, Rep. Matt Claman is maintaining a strong enough lead over Sen. Mia Costello to take that seat, 7,469 to 6,958.

Costello wrote her concession statement on social media:

“While the votes were close after the first count, the latest count of ballots in my race now has a clear result: my opponent has a lead that is numerically insurmountable. I wish him the best as he prepares to serve as West Anchorage’s next State Senator,” she wrote.

“When I first decided to run for public office, I knew I wanted to serve to help keep our neighborhoods safe for our families, and our economy strong with exciting new opportunities. I pledged to work to keep West Anchorage an amazing place to raise my kids, just as it was an incredible place for me to grow up. And I promised that any Alaskan who came to me with a problem would find an open door, a listening ear, and a grateful servant wanting to help. I worked hard to keep that promise, and I sincerely hope I have,” Costello wrote.

“It has been my great honor to serve you in the Alaska Senate for the last eight years and in the State House for four years before that. I’m profoundly grateful for the trust you’ve shown me. And while my role will change, I’ll still work to keep that promise in the role that has always mattered the most — as your neighbor Mia.

“Thank you so much, and God bless,” Sen. Costello wrote. Claman is a Democrat who has flipped the Republican seat and all-but ensured a coalition caucus between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate.


  1. And there you have it. Murkowski predicted to win election without garnering the majority of the votes due to ranked choice system (2nd choice voites). Ranked choice voting saved her butt for another 6-year term. Imagine that. Is this what the majority of Alaskans had in mind when they approved Ranked Choice Voting?

    • I question whether it was even legitimately voted for. I have yet to meet a single person who voted for it. Who voted for it? Please, if you did, share. I just want to know of one single person who actually did. It is a convoluted confusing and complicated mess of a system and even those that supposedly understand it can’t explain it. How is that fair, honest, or ‘inclusive’ (gag), voting? Criminal. I also question the number of votes Peltola has received.

    • Respectfully disagree.
      Seems like dark money, Zuckerbucks, ballot harvesting, and Dominion vote tabulation gear, among other things, muddied the waters enough to make sure nobody knew what they approved.

    • Yes, this was exactly what we had in mind. Although Murkowski will get the most votes of all candidates, it may not be over 50%. The RCV method will allow for an instant runoff that will result in a winner with the majority of votes.

  2. Very bummed that Mia Costello conceded. We should always wait until the official last count.
    That said Mia, ADQ is leaving the Assembly, we could really use your help!!
    We west anchorage citizens have been held hostage with two of the worst and wokest commies MISrepresenting thousands of our families.

    • Excellent suggestion, Molly. The Anchorage assembly would be much improved if Mia Costello would run for election and secure a seat there. Run Mia Run!

  3. Mail in voting and RCV…tailor made by the Democrats. Tshibaka won but RCV will take her out. For a Republican to win we need to look at Dunleavy. He has such a huge margin that ballot harvesting and RCV can do nothing for the Democrats. Sad it has to be this way.

  4. Already seeing polls for 2024. Alaska’s allllmmmmooossstt done with 2022.
    Criminal what they’ve done to our “election “ system.
    Thanks Governor. You’re killing it!
    The State that is. There are a few worse crimes in the world. Knowing about it and not doing anything about it is quite the legacy.

    • What kind of nonsense is this? You understand Dunleavy’s leading by a wide margin but you want to make contrarian remarks on a conservative website? Your assertion that Dunleavy chose to inflict RCV on the public needs a little work. Get somebody to read it to you if the words are hard.

    • Don’t blame Dunleavy, blame Scott Kendall and Bill Walker and the outside money that advertised RCV as a great way to keep track of all donations and also “open up” the election system and “free” Alaskans from the two-party system. Enough Alaskans fell for it that RCV was instituted. The governor has to uphold the law. So, if you don’t like it, start doing the work that will get RCV repealed. But don’t hold an elected official that was one of the targets as responsible for the problem. The truth is that every Alaskan who voted for this monstrosity shares the blame. So start doing the work to get it repealed.

  5. Like a steer drag racer. Just before to finish line the ballot counters will hit the nitrous button…….
    Oh but it was so close. Kelly should have tried a little harder.

  6. What is going on with this rank choice crap, did any Alaskan vote for it? OR did the shifty ballot writers do what they always do make it so hard to understand that no means yes and yes means no. I believe there is a conspiracy in the ballot world to dupe people into voting for whatever their agenda is. Thank you for reading

  7. I sent a note to Dunleavy’s office requesting that the first order of business for Dahlstrom be the rescinding of RCV. I received a prompt reply and was informed that I should contact my reps in Juneau as we’re stuck with if for two years and it can only be overturned by the legislature in Juneau. I would encourage all who frequent this site to reach out to your representatives and give them you’re two cents worth on the issue.

  8. Were the vote not split (thanks rcv) combining votes for the 2 R candidates = 121,508 to 117,686. RCV also took out Tshibaka. So Republicans WOULD HAVE WON house and Senate, if not for RCV. Hmmmm…. I smell a rat!

  9. Lisa…appointed by dad…lost to an unknown in her first primary election…Joe Miller…big money buys her a write in candidacy….and now can’t get 50% and will win again. Something is really wrong…

    • She is ONE of the WORST “members”, she and her comrads on the Assembly (9 of 12) have been steadily destroying our once great city, one Tuesday at a time. She is the one that decided we did NOT need to vote for a new mayor when her predecessor had to resign in disgrace. Then there was the monkey business to make her acting mayor, thats when the real shenanigans began.
      Know who your representative is, vote out the commies, they are only out for power, and they grant it to themselves one tuesday at a time….

  10. Voting machines = fraud
    Voting machines + rank choice =fraud plus

    71% of Americans don’t approve of the direction the country is going, but vote for more of the same???? I don’t think so!

    • If the results are predetermined by a rigged election, then why did you bother to vote?

      Or maybe you did vote, and naively hoped the fraud had passed, and “the system” was no longer in control?

      C’mon – explain yourself…

  11. Please, legislators, get rid of RCV. Voters, hound your legislators to write laws to clean up our elections. I have already started. Our voter rolls should be purged annually. RCV needs to go away, and unrequested mail in voting needs to cease.

    • Our state needs to get off ERIC, work to clean up our voter rolls, and our legislature must rid us of RCV. Check out omega4america to see how we can pursue voter cleanup, then ensure voter laws are strong enough to ensure we citizens are the only ones voting.
      Hmmmmm, are any legislators willing to lose dark money? Are they willing to do whats right or whats easy?

  12. Late night update:

    U.S. Senate
    Lisa Murkowski (R) 112,519 43%
    Kelly Tshibaka (R) 110,861 43%
    Patricia Chesbro (D) 26,874 10%
    Buzz Kelley (R) 7,484 3%
    Total Write-Ins (O) 2,009 1%

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