Upset brewing in Senate O

Aug 22, 2018

In what appears to be a major upset in yesterday's primary elections in Senate District O, political newcomer Ron Gillham has defeated incumbent Sen. Peter Micciche.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, figures from the Alaska Division of Elections show Gillham pulled in 2,575 votes in the closed Republican primary for 50.12 percent of the 5,138 votes cast.

Micciche was close behind with 2,563 votes for 49.88 percent.

Micciche has been in the state senate since 2013. He is the Senate majority leader, the number two position in his party, and has served as vice-chair of the Finance Committee.

If the results hold up after absentee and question ballots are counted, and a likely recount, Gillham will have a clear path to the state senate, as there is no Democrat to challenge him in the General Election.

Elsewhere around the Central Peninsula, Independent Shawn Butler of Hope won the open primary for House District 29, and will face either Wayne Ogle or Ben Carpenter. They are in a race too close to call, with only three votes separating them in the closed Republican race. Ogle has 1,222 to Carpenter's 1,219. Races that close often trigger automatic recounts.

Rep. Gary Knopp had no challengers in his bid to return to House District 30.