Incumbent Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a Republican running for reelection Nov. 8, 2022, is shown prior to a televised debate Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)

Incumbent Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a Republican running for reelection Nov. 8, 2022, is shown prior to a televised debate Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)

Early results favor Dunleavy in governor’s race

The Republican incumbent had clinched about 51.7% of the roughly 200,000 votes counted as of about 10:50 p.m.

With roughly 70% of Alaska’s 401 precincts reporting, preliminary results from the Nov. 8 general election show Gov. Mike Dunleavy poised for reelection.

The Republican incumbent had clinched about 51.7% of the roughly 200,000 votes counted as of about 10:50 p.m. on Tuesday night. Dunleavy is running alongside former state lawmaker and Department of Corrections Commissioner Nancy Dahlstrom, who is running for lieutenant governor.

The pair holds a strong lead over Democratic gubernatorial candidate Les Gara and running mate Jessica Cook, who had received about 23.3% of votes as of 10:50 p.m. Tuesday. That ticket was followed by former nonpartisan Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and running mate Heidi Drygas, who received about 20.2% of votes.

Former Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce, running as a Republican, received about 4.5% of the vote.

His running mate, Edie Grunwald, suspended last month her campaign for lieutenant governor citing “recent circumstances” surrounding Pierce. Pierce’s former assistant alleged in an Oct. 21 lawsuit that he sexually harassed her while they worked together. Grunwald encouraged supporters to vote for Dunleavy.

Election results reported by the Alaska Division of Elections on Tuesday only reflect first-choice votes. Under Alaska’s ranked choice voting system, a candidate must receive 50% + 1 vote to be declared the winner of their race. Tabulation of second- or third-choice votes will not happen until Nov. 23 at the earliest.

Nov. 29 is the target date for the State Review Board to certify the results of the Nov. 8 election, according to the Alaska Division of Elections. Before then, the state will receive absentee ballots. The state on Nov. 23 will determine whether any candidate received more than 50% of the vote. If not, ranked choice tabulation will begin.

A full election timeline, as well as the first-choice election results can be found on the Alaska Division of Elections website at elections.alaska.gov.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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