Dunleavy prevails as Republican nominee in governor's race
Former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy has claimed the Republican nomination for November general election, topping nearest competitor, former Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.
With 82 percent of the votes counted, Dunleavy held a 28 percentage point lead.
Dunleavy now faces incumbent Independent Bill Walker and former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich in a three-way battle on the November general election ballot.
Dunleavy was prepared to declare victory early Tuesday night in the party's primary, after a first round of results showed him leading with a wide margin over Treadwell.
“This has been months in the making, it's been a hard fought battle.I want to, at this stage in the game, thank Mead Treadwell and the other candidates that were in the race,” Dunleavy told KTVA just before 9:30pm.
His campaign issued a press release just before midnight thanking supporters for helping Dunleavy achieve the Republican nomination.
Following the first round of results, Treadwell acknowledged the numbers weren't in his favor. He congratulated Dunleavy, but noted that he thought the former State Senator prevailed because of the independent expenditure group that was created to support him.
“If I could walk in with $500,000 of my brother’s money and my friends money and do that," Treadwell said. "My first race I was able to self fund and then I bought some property and had three kids who had college tuition to pay so I couldn’t self fund this time. I ran essentially against a self-funding candidate, and our campaign finance laws basically make it very very hard."
Shortly before votes began trickling in, both Begich and Walker addressed being in a three-way race, and any concern over splitting the Democratic vote against a Republican challenger.
Since Begich entered in the waning moments of the June 1 deadline, one question looms: Can either he or Walker win a three-way race?
Recently Walker supporters created an online petition, asking Begich to step down.
Candidates have until Sept. 4 to withdraw from the race and have their names removed from the general election ballot.
Neither Walker nor Begich seems willing to budge.
“You know Alaska is known for three-way races don't forget we have a senior US senator (Lisa Murkowski) who won a three-way race and she wasn't even on the ballot,” Walker said. "And so we just have a history of having not the standard fare in elections.”
Begich has long said he’s in this race to win.
“We are excited about after tonight to be done with this so we can get on with talking about the three main candidates what their issues are and their differences, “Begich said. “And we are looking forward to that.”
Other preliminary results:
Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna) is in an unexpected fight for another term, trailing challenger Ronald Gillham by 28 votes with 13 of 17 precincts reporting. The winner gets a trip to Juneau because there is not another general election opponent.
Longtime House Rep. Charisse Millett (R-Anchorage) trailed challenger Josh Revak by 15 percentage points, but five of the seven precincts had not reported.
Lora Reinbold has jumped out to an early lead over fellow House Rep. Dan Saddler by a 17-point margin. Both are looking to succeed Senate Finance Committee Chair Anna MacKinnon.
Sen. Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage) leads Republican Lt. Gov. challenger Edie Grunwald by 10 percentage points.
Former Rep. Liz Vasquez’s efforts to get back in the Legislature has not been easy. She trails GOP challenger Sara Rasmussen by 11 votes with three precincts remaining.
Former House Rules Chair Nancy Dahlstrom is a step closer to succeeding Saddler, with a 12 point lead over Craig Christenson.
Incumbent Rep. George Rauscher (R-Sutton) has a 25 point lead in his third primary battle with Jim Colver, whom Rauscher defeated two years ago en route to his first term.
Alyse Galvin has won Alaska's Democratic primary for the U.S. House, becoming the first independent to represent the party in a general election. She will face U.S. Rep. Don Young in November. Young is the longest-serving member of the House.
Even before Tuesday’s primary, six candidates – two for the Senate and four in the House – had a clear path toward another term in Juneau.
Running unopposed on the primary and general election are incumbent Sens. Click Bishop (R-Fairbanks) and Lyman Hoffman (D-Bethel) plus incumbent House Reps. Tammie Wilson (R-Fairbanks), Colleen Sullivan-Leonard (R-Wasilla), Gary Knopp (R-Kenai) and Neal Foster (D-Nome).
Emily Carlson and Associated Press contributed to this story.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.
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