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Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Alaska Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai, second from left, looks over a questioned ballot Thursday in Juneau, with Assistant Attorney General Libby Bakalar, left, Annette Kreitzer, second from right, an observer for Republican Bob Bell, and Sandy Harris, an observer for Democrate Sen. Hollis French, during a requested recount for Anchorage Senate District J. French led by 51 votes before the recount.

Recount: French still in Senate

Posted: November 30, 2012 - 1:08am

ANCHORAGE — An Anchorage Democratic senator has retained his seat in the state Senate.

The Division of Elections says a recount of votes in Senate District J on Thursday shows incumbent Hollis French as the winner, defeating Republican Bob Bell.

Division Director Gail Fenumiai certified the election last week with French holding a 51-vote lead. Bell on Monday asked for the recount.

The recount widened the gap to 59 votes.

Fenumiai says by email that the final tally was 7,605 to 7,546.

French says he would have been shocked if the outcome had changed.

Reached by phone in Hawaii where he’s vacationing, French says he expects to be an effective voice in the Senate even though he will no longer be in the majority.

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