Nageak down by just four votes - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, September 19, 2021
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Nageak down by just four votes

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Rep. Ben Nageak

Rep. Ben Nageak

The Division of Elections has issued the official results, and in the far-north District 40, Democrat Dean Westlake is ahead of Democrat Representative Ben Nageak by 4 votes, 819-815.

Evidently there were 14 absentee-in-person votes that came into Nome from Barrow and those went heavily for Nageak.

The four-vote difference means that the state will have to do a recount at its own expense for District 40. Yet it will likely certify the results, and there will probably be a legal challenge. The vote summary is here:

Shungnak results are: 47 Westlake 3 Nageak, whereas before today it was reported as 48 Westlake and 2 Nageak. The Division shows 100 cards cast in Shungnak, where 50 voters got to cast two ballots — one for Democrats and one for Republicans. That means the vote in Shungnak was illegal.

The precinct breakdown is here:

The Alaska Democratic Party weighed heavily in this primary race, pouring tens of thousands of dollars into challenger Westlake’s race against the elder incumbent.

Westlake, who has a record of domestic violence incidents with the Alaska Court system, is in his second attempt to unseat Nageak, who is a conservative Democrat.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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