The Latest: Dunleavy wins GOP primary for Alaska governor
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on Alaska’s primary election (all times local):
Former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy has won the Republican nomination for governor in Alaska.
The Wasilla Republican on Tuesday topped a crowded field that included former Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.
Dunleavy in January left the state Senate after five years to focus on his campaign. While a senator, he clashed with GOP leaders over cuts to the annual check Alaskans receive from the state’s oil-wealth fund and over what he saw as insufficient cuts to the state budget.
Dunleavy advances to November’s general election, where he is expected to face Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, and former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat.
Walker opted to bypass the primaries and instead gather signatures to appear on the November ballot. Begich was unopposed.
Alyse Galvin has won Alaska’s Democratic primary for the U.S. House, becoming the first independent to represent the party in a general election.
Galvin defeated Democrats Dimitri Shein and Carol Hafner and independent Christopher Cumings in Tuesday’s primary.
She advances to the November election, where she will face U.S. Rep. Don Young, the longest-serving member of the House. Young has served since 1973 and faced token opposition in the Republican primary.
Galvin is a newcomer to politics but has had a constant presence at the Alaska Legislature, advocating for better funding for schools. Her husband, Pat, was formerly the state revenue commissioner and the only Democrat to serve in the administration of former Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican.
A state Supreme Court decision this year opened up the Democratic primary to independents.
Congressman Don Young has won the Republican primary for U.S. House.
Young has held Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat for 45 years and is the longest-serving member of the House, a designation of which he’s proud.
Young fended off challenges from lesser-known candidates Thomas “John” Nelson and Jed Whittaker. Nelson argued that the state needed a “succession plan” because Young is 85 and “not getting any younger.”
Young says he likes doing what he’s doing and doesn’t want to retire from the job. He says he’ll be Alaskans’ congressman for as long as they want him.
Young will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the November general election.
Former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has won the Democratic nomination for governor in Alaska.
He was unopposed in Tuesday’s primary.
Begich advances to November’s general election, where he is expected to face independent Gov. Bill Walker and the winner of Tuesday’s Republican primary.
Begich cast himself as the only gubernatorial candidate who supports abortion rights for women. He also has called for protecting in the state constitution the check Alaskans receive annually from the state’s oil-wealth fund.
Alaska’s Democratic Party changed its rules to let independent candidates run in its primaries. Walker flirted with doing so but opted to avoid a head-to-head primary with Begich and instead gather signatures to appear on the general election ballot.
Walker wanted to run as a team with his Democratic lieutenant governor, Byron Mallott.
Most polls have closed in Alaska.
A vast majority of the state is in the Alaska time zone, where polls closed at 8 o’clock local time. However, there are a few polls in the Aleutian Islands that will close an hour later.
The first batch of results are expected shortly after that poll closing.
The top of the ticket races including a contested Republican primary for governor and several people vying in the Democratic party to take on longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Don Young in the November.
Don Smith, a former state lawmaker and Anchorage assemblyman, wants a “solid conservative” as Alaska’s next governor. So the Anchorage Republican voted Tuesday for the man he believes will fit that bill, former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy.
Smith thinks his choice has a good chance of beating even the incumbent, independent Gov. Bill Walker, who skipped Tuesday’s primaries after opting to gather signatures instead to appear on the general ballot in November. Former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is unopposed in the Democratic primary.
“I think if Dunleavy is the nominee, which I think he’ll be, he’ll be running against hopefully Begich and the current governor, and they’ll split the vote, and the Republican will win,” Smith said.
For the U.S. House, Smith voted for the Republican incumbent, Don Young, the longest-serving member of the House. “I’ve never not voted for Don Young,” he said.
Bob Koontz chose the Democratic ballot when he voted in the Alaska primary Tuesday in downtown Anchorage. But Koontz says his main interest is an issue that crosses party lines.
Koontz says he’s has joined the movement to amend the U.S. Constitution to reverse a 2010 Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case that declared corporations to be persons.
Koontz says if the country could take care of that, everything else could be fixed. He says candidates would no longer be owned by corporations and that they would return to representing people.
He says he just joined a group, Move to Amend, that is dedicated to the issue. He says the issue didn’t figure into his decision in the U.S. House race, but he voted for Alyse Galvin.
Bill Cody is an undeclared voter and said this time he didn’t vote for independent Gov. Bill Walker, as he did four years ago.
Walker lost Cody’s support with his decision to slash half of the Alaska Permanent Fund, the annual check Alaskans receive from the state’s oil-wealth fund.
“I didn’t even consider voting for him this time,” Cody said.
Instead, he voted for former Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.
Cody’s wife Holly, also an undeclared voter, said she supported Democrat Dimitri Shein who is seeking a chance to challenge Republican U.S. Rep Don Young in November.
“He’s a family man,” she said. But she’s counting on anyone to defeat Young, the longest serving House member. “Don Young’s been around forever. I think he’s got a lot of support in Alaska.”
Voter turnout was light in early voting during Alaska’s primary election.
Voters were choosing candidates for governor, the Alaska Legislature and the state’s lone U.S. House seat. No U.S. Senate races were on the ballot.
At Kincaid Elementary School in southwest Anchorage, Richard Thwaites said he chose the Republican ballot and cast a vote for Mead Treadwell.
The former lieutenant governor’s experience appealed to Thwaites. He says Treadwell has been involved in state, national and international affairs and has been outside the core legislative group.
Self-described liberal Democrat George Freeman chose the Democratic ballot at Inlet View Elementary School and voted for Alyse Galvin on the recommendation of neighbors.
Freeman says the main race in his downtown district is for state House. The Democratic nominee for U.S. House will face longtime Republican Rep. Don Young. Freeman says the U.S. House race is probably a waste of everybody’s time.
Primaries for governor and U.S. House top the ticket in Alaska Tuesday.
Voters will choose a Republican nominee to advance to what is expected to be a hard-fought battle for governor this fall. They’ll also choose the latest contender to try to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Don Young, the longest-serving member of the U.S. House.
Former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy and former Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell are the highest-profile candidates seeking the GOP nod for governor, with the winner advancing to November’s general election.
Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, skipped Tuesday’s primaries, while former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is unopposed in the Democratic primary. Libertarian William “Billy” Toien also is running.
In the Democratic U.S. House primary, independent Alyse Galvin and Democrat Dimitri Shein are among those vying for a shot to challenge Young, 85, who has served in the House for 45 years and is expected to win his primary.