The gap between Democratic Sen. Hollis French and Republican challenger Bob Bell for Senate District J has narrowed to 56 votes.
The state Division of Elections counted absentee and question ballots Tuesday. French has 7,562 votes to Bell’s 7,506 for the Anchorage seat. Coming into the ballot count, French had a 247-vote lead.
Republican Rep. Lance Pruitt widened his lead by 216 votes over Democrat Rep. Pete Peterson for Anchorage House District 25 (Pruitt: 4,095; Peterson: 3,879). Peterson was down by 96 votes after Election Day results. The Republican caucus recently named Pruitt House Majority Leader.
Pruitt and Peterson were thrown into the same House district by redistricting.
More outstanding ballots will be counted on Nov. 19 and 21, the last day to receive ballots postmarked from overseas.
- The state is granting nearly $300,000 to improve water quality in some of Alaska's most damaged watersheds, including Juneau's orange-tinted Duck Creek.
- More than a third of all the penalties imposed since 1976 were logged last year.
- "You know, we're not talking about some smoky, old wood stove here. We’re talking about high-tech equipment," said Daniel Parrent, a program manager at the U.S. Forest Service.
- "Did you think that ganging together seven different taxes would make it more likely or less likely that any would pass?” asked Eagle River Republican Rep. Dan Saddler.