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Unalaska chooses Murkowski in U.S. Senate race, breaking from statewide voting trend

Maggie Nelson

Preliminary results are in for this year’s general election, and Unalaska seems to be breaking from one major statewide voting trend.

Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski trails competitor Kelly Tshibaka in statewideresults in the race for U.S. Senate. But the majority of Unalaska voters favored Murkowski over her fellow Republican challenger. In local results, Murkowski leads with about 51% of the vote.

Unalaskans did follow the statewide trend in the race for U.S. House of Representatives and chose Democrat Mary Peltola as the island’s preferred candidate. She received 193 local votes from a total of 410 – that’s 47% of the total. That matches the statewide support for Peltola exactly. Republican Sarah Palin received about 31%, and about 19% of Unalaskans cast their ballots in favor of Republican Nick Begich.

Unalaskans favored Republican incumbent Gov. Mike Dunleavy with about 54% of votes cast on Election Day, which is slightly more support than the overall state results. Independent Bill Walker received 22% of Unalaska’s vote, while Democrat Les Gara took about 19%.

Local voters also favor Democrat incumbent Senator Lyman Hoffman, with roughly 56% of votes. Votes so far for Senate Seat S show Hoffman ahead of Veterans Party challenger Willy Keppel with nearly 63% of votes, according to early results from the Alaska Division of Elections.

Independent incumbent Bryce Edgmon ran unopposed for House District 37. Still, he received about 97% of Unalaska’s total vote.

And in the question of Ballot Measure 1, which asks whether or not Alaska should hold a constitutional convention, nearly 59% of Unalaskans voted no. That ballot measure has failed by a significant margin on a statewide level, according to early voting.

433 Unalaskans cast their ballots Tuesday, and there are 56 absentee, questioned or special needs ballots, according to City Clerk Marjie Veeder. Those will be sent to the state to be processed.

In total, Unalaska had 489 voters. Tuesday’s general election drew about the same percentage of registered voters as last month’s municipal election.

The Alaska Division of Elections will tally absentee and overseas ballots over the next several days. The final results are expected to be certified on Nov. 29.

Hailing from Southwest Washington, Maggie moved to Unalaska in 2019. She's dabbled in independent print journalism in Oregon and completed her Master of Arts in English Studies at Western Washington University — where she also taught Rhetoric and Composition courses.
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