elections 2020

Voters on Oct. 6 have a rematch to settle for Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor — incumbent Charlie Pierce or challenger Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Nearly two weeks after Election Day, leading candidates for the Kenai Peninsula’s state House and Senate races can finally declare victory.

The Alaska Division of Elections finished counting the absentee ballots received for several districts this weekend, including District 29, where Rep. Ben Carpenter is on track for reelection, and District 30, where newcomer Ron Gillham has secured the seat previously occupied by Rep. Gary Knopp.

There is still a chance some absentee ballots arrive from overseas before Nov. 18. But those would only amount to a few, if any, said Tiffany Montemayor of the Division of Elections. Results remain “unofficial” until certification later this month.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

News of President-elect Joe Biden’s projected victory reached Alaskans early Saturday morning. 

In New York City, Atlanta and Minneapolis, there was dancing in the street. In Colorado Springs, Nashville and Boise, there were pro-Trump protests and “Stop the count” demonstrations. In Juneau and Anchorage there were small public protests and celebrations.

Not in Kenai or Soldotna. Many political signs across both cities were quietly taken down over the weekend and there was no public hullabaloo on either side.

Courtesy of Ron Meehan

On Election Day, 21-year-old Ron Meehan was paying very close attention to races in two completely different time zones. 

On the one hand, he was watching results roll in in Connecticut, where he goes to college. But he was also keeping a close eye on races in Alaska.

Meehan is the regional vice chair for the Alaska Democratic Party and the vice chair of the Alaska Gulf Coast Democrats, which encompasses Districts 29 through 32. He’s serving a two-year term.

Meehan is a senior at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., where he’s studying government and environmental studies. Before that, he grew up in Kenai and graduated from Soldotna High School in 2017.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Incumbent Republicans are leading in local House and Senate races. That’s without the absentee ballots that the Alaska Division of Elections will start counting next week. There may be over 8,000 ballots in House Districts 29 and 30 alone.

For House District 29, which includes Sterling, Hope, Nikiski and the eastern peninsula, incumbent Ben Carpenter leads challenger Paul Dale by a margin of nearly three to one, a difference of 2,610 votes.

Carpenter is a Republican from Nikiski who was first elected in 2018. He said today he’s cautiously optimistic about the results.