Sunday deadline: Register to vote in primary - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday deadline: Register to vote in primary

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Sunday, July 22, is the deadline for registering to vote in the Aug. 21, 2018 primary.

To do so, make sure your Alaska driver’s license or state identification card, and the information you enter at the Division of Election’s online site match.

The online registration form can be found at: https://voterregistration.alaska.gov

Alaska has a hybrid open ballot system. The Alaska Democratic Party, Alaska Libertarian Party, and Alaskan Independence Party allow any registered voters. The Alaska Republican Party allows only registered Republicans, nonpartisan voters, or undeclared voters.

Just one candidate for governor is running in the Democratic Primary: Mark Begich. If you choose the open ballot that contains Democrat candidates, you can choose between Begich and Libertarian Billy Toien.

On the Republican ballot, Mead Treadwell, Michael Sheldon, Merica Hlatcu, Gerald Heikes, Thomas Gordon, Darin Colby, and Mike Dunleavy will be on the ballot.

For lieutenant governor, Democrats have Debra Call.

Republicans offer Lynn Gattis, Edie Grunwald, Sharon Jackson, Kevin Myer, Stephen Wright, and Gary Stevens for lieutenant governor.

Several Republican stronghold primaries of interest include Senate Seat E (Wasilla), where Sen. Mike Shower will attempt to fend off a challenge from Randall Kowalke.

Senate Seat G (Eagle River) has Rep. Lora Reinbold and Rep. Dan Saddler vying for the seat vacated by Sen. Anna MacKinnon.

Senate Seat M (South Anchorage hillside) will test Rep. Chris Birch against newcomer Bekah Halat.

Senate Seat O (Soldotna) has Sen. Peter Micciche challenged by Ron Gillham.

It’s an unusual year for Alaska Democrats because not only do they have a household name running for governor (Mark Begich), for many Democrats they will have a choice in several key races in Democrat strongholds or Democrat-leaning districts: Seats 10, 15, 20, 33, 34:

For House Seat 10 (Wasilla), Patricia Faye-Brazel and Neal Lacy are the Democrats. Rep. David Eastman, a Republican, has no primary challenger.

For House Seat 15 (Muldoon), Democrats Lyn Franks, Rick Phillips, and Patrick McCormack are hoping to advance to the General Election to face Republican Gabrielle LeDoux, who chooses to caucus with the Democrats.

Three Democrats are vying for House Seat 20 (downtown Anchorage): Zack Fields, Elias Rojas, Cliff Groh. The sole Republican in that stronghold for Democrats is Ceezar Martinson.

House seat 33, (downtown Juneau), has Democrats Steven Handy, Sara Hannan, James Hart, and Tom Morphet on the primary ballot.

House seat 34 (north Juneau), has Rob Edwardson and Andi Story on the primary ballot. Republican Jerry Nankervis has no opponents.

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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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