Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Haines 1 voters favor Peltola, Murkowski, Dunleavy

 

November 10, 2022



In the Nov. 8 general election, Haines townsite voters favored Democrat Rep. Mary Peltola, Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and incumbent GOP Gov. Michael Dunleavy.

Peltola previously won an August special election against Republican candidates Sarah Palin and Nick Begich to serve out the term of the late Don Young, who died in March. She is leading in early first-choice returns in Tuesday's ranked choice election for Alaska's only House seat, over Begich and Palin.

Of 2,123 registered voters in Haines 1, 31% or 669 cast their ballots. Klukwan had a turnout of 58% with a total of 45 votes cast. Murkowski won 329 votes in Haines 1, nearly 50% of the vote. She won 80% of the votes cast in Klukwan. Donald Trump-backed candidate Kelly Tshibaka received 34%, while Patricia Chesbro and Buzz Kelley followed with 12% and 3% respectively.

Votes for U.S. Representative, in a fashion similar to the August special election primary, Haines townsite residents heavily favored Mary Peltola who had tallied 55% of the total vote and also 80% of those cast in Klukwan. Peltola, who is Yup'ik, became the first Alaska Native to serve in Congress and also the first woman to hold Alaska's seat. Peltola is leading Palin, who received 25% of the vote and Begich 17%.

In the governor’s race, Dunleavy received 36% of the townsite votes while Walker had 32%. Gara took 24% with Pierce at 6%. Klukwan however registered 43% in favor of Walker with 31% for Gara and 15% for Dunleavy.

Voters in the Haines upper valley were less divided in the run for U.S Senator where the margins are much tighter between the candidates. Tshibaka leads the count at 43% with Murkowski close behind at 40%. The run for U.S. Representative shows upper valley voters prefer Peltola, who has 53 votes or 46% to Palin’s 30%. Nick Begich rounded out the vote with 19%. The governor’s seat is less contested, showing upper valley voters leaning toward Dunleavy with 41% of the tally and Walker trailing with 25%.

Once the ballots are counted, should no candidate manage to break the 50% threshold, the new ranked-choice voting system provides that the last-place candidate will be eliminated from the running and any second-place votes of that candidate's supporters are redistributed. As such, early numbers may not be indicative of the final results. Rounds continue until two candidates remain, and whoever has the most votes wins. Tabulation rounds will take place Nov. 23.

Once every decade Alaskan voters decide whether they want a constitutional convention but have repeatedly rejected the proposal every year since 1972. Currently, votes from the Haines townsite precinct one show a wide margin with total yes votes numbering 19% and no votes at 80%. Statewide numbers reflect a similar sentiment regarding the adoption of a constitutional convention with numbers showing yes votes totaling 16% and no votes totaling 83%.

The Haines Borough Assembly had previously approved a resolution to join the Alaska Municipal League (AML) to communicate their concern regarding the impact a state constitutional convention might have on Alaskans. The resolution is chiefly concerned with proposals that it claims could fundamentally harm Alaska’s local governments including a shift in public funding for education from the state to local governments, the taxing power of government and additional alterations to public retirement programs among other items.

 
 

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