Close House races unchanged as more votes are tallied

Nearly all absentee and questioned ballots counted

Posted: Wednesday, November 17, 2004

ANCHORAGE - The results of three close House races haven't changed after nearly all the absentee and questioned ballots have been counted, according to state Division of Elections officials.

In the race for Democrat Albert Kookesh's former seat in House District 5, Republican William Thomas Jr. widened his previous lead over Democrat Tim June by 16 votes, to a new margin of 105, according to Pam Crowe, supervisor of the Division of Elections' Southeast region.

Some 400 remote-Alaska and overseas absentee ballots for District 5 were expected to be counted Tuesday, Crowe said.

District 5 stretches from Chenega in Southcentral to Hydaburg in the southern Southeast.

Democratic Rep. Harry Crawford of Anchorage and Republican Rep. Jim Holm of Fairbanks also held onto the slim leads they built after the initial ballot count on Nov. 2.

Crawford's lead over Republican challenger Jeff Gonnason in House District 21 widened from 89 to 123 votes.

"I'm in," Crawford said. "We ran a long, tough race, and this is a tough district for a Democrat to win."

Gonnason agreed the race was over.

In House District 9, Holm had been leading Democratic challenger Scott Kawasaki by 34 votes until a count of questioned and absentee ballots late last week reduced the lead to 27, said Shelly Growden, supervisor of the Division's Central region. Nearly 60 overseas and remote absentee ballots for District 9 have yet to be counted.



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