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Alaska’s first full-scale nonpartisan ranked choice election has yielded some interesting trends with about 56 percent of the votes cast counted for statewide elections and one-third of the votes counted for local races.

Locally, both the State Senate and House races are showing a candidate with a wide margin of votes.

For Senate District R, Republican Click Bishop has 54.87 percent of the vote over Republication challenger Elijah Verhagen with 30.02 percent of the vote.

Bishop, who has served in the state legislature 2013, brought his war chest and long term legislative history to the campaign trail. Bishop previously served as the Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Verhagen, who served as a legislative page for numerous years ran on a platform of offering a choice to district voters.

In one of the only races with a clear winner, Republican Mike Cronk from Tok has handily taken House District 36 with 67.95 percent of the vote. His closes competitor, Democrat Angela Fowler has garnered 31.74 percent of the vote. Fowler is unlikely to be able to overcome Cronk’s early lead.

The only other race for local voters which appears to have a clear winner is the race for Governor. Republican Mike Dunleavy is likely to retain his position as governor with 53.59 percent of the vote. Democrat Les Gara and nonparty affiliated Bill Walker with 21.54 and 19.9 percent of the vote respectively, are unlikely to be able to overcome Dunleavy’s lead.

In the event Dunleavy is unable to retain a majority, the second round of the ranked choice voting is unlikely to yield a clear winner with the fourth-place contender, Charlie Pierce having less than five percent of the vote cast. It’s unclear how Dunleavy will do in a third round on the ranked choice system depending on who the final challenger is, Gara or Walker.

The race for U.S. Representative is up for grabs with incumbent Democrat Mary Peltola having 44.63 percent of the vote and Republicans Nick Begich and Sarah Palin splitting most of the remaining votes with 25.57 and 27.77 percent each, respectively. Libertarian Chris Bye is likely to have little impact on a second round of vote counting with less than two percent of the vote.

The U.S. Senate race is close between incumbent Republican Lisa Murkowski with 40.51 percent and Republican Challenger Kelly Tshibaka with 47.06 percent.

A second round may or may not create a clear winner as Republican Buzz Kelley has only 3.02 percent of the vote. A third round will split Democrat Patricia Chesbro’s votes between Murkoswki and Tshibaka. Murkoswki’s opponent laden charges that she is too liberal for Alaska may work in Murkoswki’s favor.

The vote for a Constitutional Convention appears to have failed with 68.59 percent of the votes counted thus far against the call for a convention.

All of the judicial votes are in favor of retention of the sitting judge.

All vote counts are preliminary and from only the first round of rank choice voting.

Michael Paschall is the publisher of the Delta Wind and covers general news topics. He can be reached at news@deltawindonline.com.