In one of the closest races in the Alaska Republican Primary, Sen. Peter Micciche has fended off a challenge by newcomer Ron Gillham by what appears to be 72 votes.
After absentee, early, and questioned ballots were counted in the District O race, Micciche had 2,930 votes to Gillham’s 2,858.
Voters who were unhappy with the way the Permanent Fund dividend has been decided and an abundance of crime in Alaska gave several incumbents a punishing election season, and Micciche early on said he felt he was in a tough primary battle.
Gillham, who works on an oil rig in Cook Inlet, was ahead by 9 votes on Election night, but Micciche had run an effective absentee ballot push, and that pulled him out of reach today. Micciche has held the seat since 2013 representing the Kenai Peninsula. He was previously the mayor of Soldotna, and a member of its city council.
The absentee ballots were counted in Juneau and results were not available until late in the day.
There was no Democrat in the race, so this result decides the Senate Seat O election.