Kathryn Dodge challenges District 1 loss in court


The woman who lost District 1 race in Fairbanks by one vote has challenged the results.

“After careful consideration & consultation with my legal team, I have decided to appeal the recount results based on decisions concerning several ballots made by the Div. of Elections with which we did not agree.” Kathryn Dodge, the Democrat for the Fairbanks seat wrote, as reported by the Alaska Democratic Party.

The case has not yet been listed online by the court system by the time this story is being published.

Last Friday, the Division of Elections gave Republican Bart LeBon the win with 2,263 votes. Dodge had 2,262 votes.

The election has been certified, and Dodge had until today to file the legal challenge. Her decision to do so didn’t surprise some observers, who said Democrats have been itching for a legal battle if they lost this House seat, which previously was held by Scott Kawasaki, a Democrat. Kawasaki has moved to the Senate.

Unknown is what the court calendar will look like over the holidays, or which judge will be assigned to the case. Susan M. Carney, an Associate Justice, was appointed by Gov. Bill Walker.

In general, judges are very reluctant to start deciding elections, so the Democrats have a high hill to climb. In 2016, Republicans challenged fraudulent voting practices in District 40, which led to the victory of Dean Westlake over Rep. Ben Nageak during the August Primary Election. But even with demonstrable fraud, Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg let the results stand.

[Read: Bart LeBon wins by one vote]


  1. Either way the votes went, a suit was expected. The facts will prevail. The law should prevail. Thank God December 3rd has come upon us! Whatever the outcome, onward we shall go and let’s get Kevin Meyer and his team working towards cleaning out the voter roll mess. We can’t have amnesia of what has happened. Remember the double votes. Remember the votes from the grave. Remember what Byron Mallott failed to do as Lt. Governor (I know, a lot, but just referring to that one point in his job description about elections). Mop it up Kevin! Is Josie Bahnke released yet?

  2. Justice Carney’s close personal friendship with Kathy Dodge is not an automatic game changer in the District 1 race. Dodge is taking her election challenge straight to the Alaska Supreme Court, in hope’s of her eeking out a win with additionally counted ballots,
    and with some friends on the high court.
    The Democrats tried this maneuver in 2000 with the Florida State Supreme Court. That case was expedited up the ladder. See BUSH v. GORE 531 US 98 (2000). It failed at the top. Unfortunately for Bart Le Bon, this may be a long, long battle. A lot is at stake in the AK Legislature. And for both parties. Maybe it will end up before the US Supreme Court and the 2019 legislative session will be in limbo. Should be interesting. But whatever you do, don’t quit, Bart. History is being made up in Fairbanks.

  3. Saw a Fox News article quoting Ms. Dodge as saying that she and Mr. LeBon should share the House District 1 seat and make joint decisions on how to vote in the Legislature. What? Is this woman clueless, or was this more of a concession comment?

    • That’s hilarious, they could each have 1/2 a vote and split 1/2 a desk and share a Seat on airlines, when constituents call their office they could each be on the line and they could split the pay!

  4. Say What??? Share and make joint decisions? Was that the same Fox News reporter that said you can take Minnesota Drive all the way to the Aleutians? Sounds a bit like a concession to me.

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