(The Center Square) – Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy captured 50.3% of first-place votes in the state’s first ranked choice general election and avoided moving to another round, according to Alaska elections results.
Dunleavy fought off three challengers to become the first Alaska governor to serve two consecutive terms since 1978.
Trailing behind Dunleavy were Democrat Les Gara, who won 24.2% of the first-place votes; former Gov. Bill Walker, who ran as an independent, with 20.1%; and Republican Charlie Pierce, who took 4.5%.
“Alaskans, thank you for voting and for your continued support over the past four years,” Dunleavy said in a Twitter post. “From public safety and improving our education outcomes to growing our economy, I am honored to serve Alaskans for another four years.”
Under ranked-choice voting, voters pick their top candidates regardless of party. If no one wins 50% of the first-place vote in the first round of tabulations, the last place candidate is eliminated and his or her second place votes are tabulated. This continues until a candidate has more than 50%.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski had a slight lead over fellow Republican Kelly Tshibaka going into Wednesday’s tabulation. Once the second place votes of Republican Buzz Kelly, who dropped out of the race but still received votes, and Democrat Pat Chesbro were tabulated, Murkowski had 135,972 votes to Tskibaka 117,299 votes.
“Thank you, Alaska. I am honored that Alaskans – of all regions, backgrounds and party affiliations – have once again granted me their confidence to continue working with them and on their behalf in the U.S. Senate. I look forward to continuing the important work ahead of us,” Murkowski said in a Twitter post.
U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola won her first full-term in Congress, defeating Republicans Nick Begich and Sarah Palin and Libertarian Chris Bye.
Peltola, a Democrat, won a special election in August to replace the late Don Young, who was longest-serving Republican in Congress before his death in March.
After Begich and Bye were eliminated, Peltola had 136,893, or 55.9% of the votes to Palin’s 112,255 or 45.1%.
Peltola posted “We did it” on her Twitter account after the votes were counted.