LeDoux poised for another term in Juneau
A primary marked by ballot irregularities and push back from her own party won’t likely keep Gabrielle LeDoux out of office.
The incumbent Republican has a comfortable lead in her East Anchorage race over Democratic challenger Lyn Franks and three write-in candidates.
On Wednesday, LeDoux issued a brief statement saying she was "pleased with the outcome of the election in my district, and look forward to representing the people of my district for the next two years.”
As she did with the primary, she pulled further away from her opponents with each results update.
LeDoux held a comfortable six-point lead over Franks with three of five precincts reporting.
The race for the House District 15 seat was one some Republicans believed to be tainted due to ballot irregularities in the primary between incumbent Gabrielle LeDoux and challenger Aaron Weaver.
The elections office cited two anomalies: a high number of absentee ballots from the East Anchorage district were returned as undeliverable; seven absentee ballot applications received for the district came from people who were deceased.
GOP chair Tuckerman Babcock believed the irregularities were linked to LeDoux and a $10,000 consulting contract she had with California resident Charlie Chang.
"There are no irregularities on the Democratic side, just on the Republican," Babcock said upon learning of the ballot issues. "All fingers point to Gabrielle LeDoux."
LeDoux denied being part of any voter fraud and stood by Chang, who died a few weeks after the discovery.
The incumbent handily won the primary, but had long been crosswise with Babcock for joining a Democratic-led caucus two years ago.
She then bucked her own party by voting against the budget because it did not contained a Permanent Fund Dividend based on the statutory formula.
“It is a difficult environment; I take my job very seriously,” said LeDoux before the election. “I don’t feel like I’m beholden to my party. I don’t feel like I’m beholden to my caucus. The people who are my bosses are the people of House District 15.
“Every vote that I make. Every decision that I make I try to make taking in mind what the folks of House District 15 would like me to do what I think is best for the people of House District 15. As Ted Stevens always said, politics be damned just do what’s right for Alaska. I try to follow in the philosophy.”
Refusing to back the Republican primary winner, Babcock sought a write-in candidate he believed the party could support: Jake Sloan.
Whether an investigation into any fraud took place remains unknown. The Alaska Department of Law would not comment on the House race.
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