2022 gubernatorial candidate Charlie Pierce walks in the 65th annual Soldotna Progress Days Parade on Saturday, July 23, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

2022 gubernatorial candidate Charlie Pierce walks in the 65th annual Soldotna Progress Days Parade on Saturday, July 23, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Pierce among leaders in governor’s race

Incumbent Gov. Mike Dunleavy leads the pack overall

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce emerged as one of the top four vote-getters in Alaska’s gubernatorial primary Tuesday, according to unofficial results from the Alaska Division of Elections.

As of 10:45 p.m., incumbent Gov. Mike Dunleavy led the pack overall with 42.25% of the nearly 119,000 votes counted.

Dunleavy, who became governor in 2018 and previously served as president of the Alaska Senate, is running with Nancy Dahlstrom, who is the candidate for lieutenant governor. The pair released a statement Tuesday in which they thanked the Alaskans who voted for them.

“We feel good about where we are, but this is only the start of the race,” the statement said. “We’ll dig into all the numbers as they come in over the next few days to find out where we need to shore up our campaign, and we’re looking forward to reaching every Alaskan and earning their vote between now and November.”

The pair was followed by Bill Walker and Heidi Drygas, who received 21.61% of the vote, and Les Gara and Jessica Cook, who received 21.57% of the vote. Pierce and his running mate, Edie Grunwald, were in fourth place with 7.18% of the vote. State lawmaker Chris Kurka and Paul Hueper weren’t far behind, receiving about 4.18% of votes cast.

The top four vote-getters from the primary election will advance to the general election in November.

Unofficial election results can be found on the Alaska Division of Elections website at elections.alaska.gov/election-results.

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

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