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Election Day turns into night of the Sullivans

Posted: August 20, 2014 - 12:58am

It was a good night to be named Dan Sullivan.

It’ll be former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan versus Sen. Mark Begich in November, while Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan will face off with Hollis French for lieutenant governor. Alaska will have to wait to know the fate of Ballot Measure One, the vote to repeal the state’s controversial oil tax reform.

The options to repeal and not repeal had been neck-and-neck all night, starting off only five votes apart with 17 precincts reporting. With about 74 percent of precincts reporting at midnight, the “no” option was in the lead by about 5,000 votes. If “no” wins out, the oil tax reform voted into law in 2013 and set in motion Jan. 1 will stay in effect.

“No” had 70,529 votes, about 52 percent, at midnight. “Yes” had 65,485, about 48 percent.

With 18,000 absentee ballots and 2,000 early votes cast after an Aug. 15 deadline still left to be counted, the outcome of Ballot Measure 1 likely won’t be known for days to come. Regional Elections Supervisor Lauri Wilson said the outstanding ballots won’t be counted for another seven to 10 days.

Although the primary’s most anticipated race is left hanging, all the other winners are clear.

Despite a campaign fraught with accusations of being an “Outsider,” former Alaska Attorney General and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sullivan beat his other Republican adversaries to likely clinch the U.S. senatorial nomination. He was in the lead all night, claiming about 40 percent of the vote at midnight with 74 percent of precincts reporting.

Joe Miller took second, missing another shot at the Senate after his failed attempt in 2010. He brought in about 32 percent of the vote.

Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who was expected to go toe to toe with Sullivan, trailed behind the two all night. At 11:30 p.m., he conceded. Miller said he’ll wait for the absentee votes to be tallied.

Incumbent Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) blew his six adversaries out of the water, all but winning the nomination with almost 84 percent of the vote at midnight. He’ll run against Sullivan in hopes of a second term.

Republican U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-AK) was also way ahead of his challengers, scooping up 74 percent of the vote by midnight. Eighty-one-year-old Young has held his office since 1973 and is the most senior Republican Representative.

Young challenger and Democrat Forrest Dunbar garnered the nomination for his party by securing 64 percent of the vote by midnight.

Republican Gov. Sean Parnell and Democrat Byron Mallot cinched the nominations from their respective parties in the gubernatorial race. Parnell had claimed almost 76 percent of the vote by midnight. The second-place Republican was Russ Millette with 11 percent.

“I am honored by the strong support from Alaskans this evening,” Parnell said in a news release. “During the next 77 days before the general election, we will continue working hard to communicate our message of jobs and opportunity for every Alaskan. I want to congratulate Mayor Dan Sullivan on his win this evening, and welcome him to our team.”

Parnell will be running alongside Anchorage Mayor Sullivan, who beat his competitors with about 71 percent of the vote.

“I am pleased to be joining forces with the governor and his team,” Mayor Sullivan said in the same release. “We are the only ticket running that has a positive vision for Alaska’s future.”

Mallott had almost 67 percent of the vote at midnight, beating second-place Phil G. Stoddard, who claimed almost 17 percent. Mallott will be running alongside Alaska Senate minority leader Hollis French who beat fellow Democratic challenger Bob Williams with about 64 percent of the vote for a lieutenant governor bid.

“I am grateful for the thousands of Alaskans across the state who expressed their support for my candidacy today and am pleased to be running with Hollis French,” Mallott said in an email. “It’s going to be a very, very tough race. I am facing two Republicans, one who’s been running for four years and the other who wants to be governor for ten years. There’s so much at stake in the years ahead. I look forward to talking with Alaskans about the kind of leadership I can provide and that they deserve.”

All of Juneau’s state representatives and senators ran unopposed in their respective elections, including newcomer George McGuan, who will challenge Republican Rep. Cathy Muñoz in November. Incumbent Democratic Rep. Sam Kito III will run against Republican Peter Dukowitz. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Dennis Egan will face Republican Tom Williams.

• Contact reporter Katie Moritz at 523-2294 or at katherine.moritz@juneauempire.com. Follow her on Twitter @katecmoritz.

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