The slim road to victory in Republican primary races



Several races in the 2020 Primary Election are coming down to what the absentee voters decided, and if they mailed in their ballots. Ballots had to be postmarked by Aug. 18, and are trickling into the Division of Elections. the count will begin Aug. 25.

Senate Seat B

Sen. John Coghill, who has held office since 2009, was challenged by Robert Myers for the chance to get to the November ballot. As of now, Myers is ahead with a 126 vote lead over Coghill, 1,4471,321.

In Senate Seat B, there were 307 absentee votes from District 3 that were received but yet to be counted. In District 4, 670 Republican absentee ballots have come in. That’s a total of 977 absentee votes that could be marked for Coghill or Myers.

Taking a look at the districts in Senate Seat B, Coghill and Myers split the early vote in District 3, 24-24. In District 4, the early vote split 50-50. It’s close.

Takeaway: If the absentee votes break the same way as the early votes and the Election Day votes, Myers will win Senate Seat. B.

Senate Seat L

Sen. Natasha von Imhof is trailing Stephen Duplantis by 85 votes, 1,351 to 1,266.

There are 504 possible absentee votes in District 23, and 1,090 absentee votes in District 24.

As for early votes in District 23, they broke toward Duplantis, 33-17. Duplantis received 64 percent of the vote in this district.

In District 24, they broke toward von Imhof, 56-48, who received 53 percent of the votes in this district.

Takeaway: It’s a safer bet that von Imhof will climb out of the hole she’s in due to the 1,090 votes still to be counted in the district where she was strongest, and District 23 may not have enough Duplantis votes for him to overcome those D-24 votes.

Senate Seat P

Sen. Gary Stevens is trailing behind challenger John Cox for this Kodiak Borough district that also stretches up to Homer.

In the District 31 portion of the Senate seat, Cox beat Stevens 1,144 to 709. There are 746 absentee ballots possible for that district.

In the District 32 (Kodiak) side of the Senate seat, Cox lost to Stevens 259 to 625. and there are only 320 ballots to count.

There are no early votes tallied yet for this race.

Takeaway: John Cox has a very good chance of retaining his lead over Stevens. Neither of the candidates pursued the absentee ballots with any effort.

House District 2

Rep. Steve Thompson is ahead of challenger Dave Selle by 13 votes. There are 210 possible Republican absentee ballots already turned in and 348 that have not yet been received by Aug. 18. In the early vote, Selle carried the day 18-15, so if that trend holds on the 210 already received ballots, he will win.

Takeaway: This could be a race that goes to a recount.

House District 10

Rep. David Eastman is holding onto a lead over Jesse Sumner, by 79 votes.

The Early vote leaned slightly for Sumner, 77-73. there are 568 absentee votes turned in for this district and 861 still not returned by Aug. 18.

Takeaway: 79 votes is a big lead that could narrow, but likely not enough to help Sumner to a win.

House District 23

Connie Dougherty and Kathy Henslee are in a tight race to take on incumbent Democrat Rep. Chris Tuck in November. Dougherty is winning by 16 votes and there are 504 possible absentee. Henslee carried the early vote 26-24 over Dougherty. If she gets the same percentage in the absentee ballots, she could pull off a narrow victory.

Takeaway: This race is a toss up that could be going to a recount.


  1. I like the younger side of some of these candidates. There is some new blood stepping up and running. This is good in so many ways.

  2. The sad part of this is that should Senator Natasha von Entitlement pull out the win, she is the candidate least likely to learn any humility from the experience. She will be a great one to bring into the Biden Administration.

  3. Coghill needs to just retire. Too many Coghills in public office for decades. New blood. I’m pulling for Mr. Myer.

    • I agree. John got locked-in to the Establishment mindset some time ago and developed the mentality that government is more important than the people who initially voted for John to keep the government in check. I too voted for Myers. It was time for John to go.

      • Make that three. I voted for Myers in absentee. Seems like a humble guy who will help the Conservatives in Juneau. Coghill fought the Conservatives and that’s why I voted for Myers.

  4. SD, this is really, really good reporting! I could scan the election in 5 min, get all the info I wanted, not have a question left, and not see a single political slant the MSM simply can’t stop “slipping in” to all reporting. Thank you again!

    • Never even heard of Robert Myers until I voted for him last Tuesday. Senator Coghill lost our entire family’s votes because he is so out of touch with his old loyal supporters. He started to sound like those wacked-out Democrats. And that’s when WE switched.

  5. I echo the kudos for the intelligent reporting, Suzanne. I refuse to pay anything for the biased trash from FBX Miner, ADN, or Valley Frontiersman, but I will gladly support your site with my $. Wonder how long before they get a clue?

  6. Absentees have been being sent in for a couple of months. It seems there are upto 1000 plus in each senate district up for grabs..Because it is spread over a larger period of time then and most voters are willing to do research at their computer before voting. Most would chose a pro PFD full PFD candidate so. I would be worried for those who are considered incumbents based on the mood of the voters over the last 3 months.

  7. The absentee request deadline was 8 Aug 2020. It is double the normal absentee requested amount record due to COVID 19. The voters are picking pro PFD Full PFD candidates. With early votes…Early vote ballots voted the Friday before Election Day through Election Day will be counted seven days after Election Day. So a couple of hundred each district. Absentee 36966 fully accepted as of Friday at 8 AM. There are questions to be answered and in some cases there are more votes out there than were received on election night. This second election results should be fun to watch. Alaska we are watching and the PRO PFD candidates should hold serve on this very important 2020 Election..

  8. MustReadAK was essential to this extraordinary primary election result. Without the honest, artful reporting we see every day on MustReadAK we would not have seen anything like this despite how necessary and overdue it is. I hope that the real Republicans who ran so well to accomplish these upsets do not now pull a Joe Miller and waste it. Joe was a great candidate with impeccable timing to win the 2010 primary, but then he, and especially his campaign crew, became so full of themselves in the general election (over their primary win, presumably) that they let the prize get away by scaring people. They were outsmarted by the ADN and others. I hope these successful primary challengers now listen to voters; winning the primary makes no one instantly wise, and reporters want you to say something stupid and outrageous. Think! Be humble, admit you don’t have all the answers (you won because trying the same thing year after year in Juneau has not worked), and just be an honest Alaskan. The mainstream media like Public Broadcasting and the ADN will now pull out all the stops to defeat you in the general. I advise watching Dunleavy in some (or all) of the 2018 gubernatorial debates; be as smart as he was and you will be fine. Also, Suzanne Downing might be kind enough to listen and even hold your hand when it gets rough in the coming weeks. Remember, every dollar of state spending has one or more lobbyists; they and interest groups like the NEA, the UA community, the capital city, the nonprofits that pay six figure salaries, and the public employee unions will now do everything short of trying to kill you between now and November 3. Those lobbyists and interest groups are actually paid to defeat you, for the most part paid by state appropriation! Congratulations to you successful Republican challengers, and your families and supporters, and to MustReadAK. Good Luck!

  9. I voted by mail for the first time this year…was quick & easy and I did not have to alter my schedule to perform my civic duty.
    It will be interesting to see how the absentee votes play out as I would think many who voted by mail do not have the same opinions as those who drove to vote on election day.
    Either way, I would not call any winners or losers in the races that still have a thousand votes to get counted…middle of the course for this primary election journey.

    • Look at the photo of Coghill and Myers standing together. Coghill would love to shoo him away, but Myers ain’t leaving. Coghill is an old codger who’s been running on his daddie’s last name since he entered politics. I will be holding Myers signs this fall during the general election. Bye bye, John. Go back to preaching and keep your stinking hands off our PFD.

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