Dems Kawasaki and Dodge take leads from questioned ballots, absentees still to be counted

Rep. Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks, and Kathryn Dodge gained the leads in the ongoing ballot-counting in their races. Kawasaki is leading Sen. Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks for Kelly's seat. Dodge, a Democrat, is leading Republican Barton LeBon to succeed Kawasaki in the House. (Kawasaki photo by Skip Gray/360 North, Dodge photo courtesy of Kathryn Dodge)
Rep. Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks, and Kathryn Dodge gained the leads in the ongoing ballot-counting in their races. Kawasaki is leading Sen. Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks for Kelly’s seat. Dodge, a Democrat, is leading Republican Barton LeBon to succeed Kawasaki in the House. (Kawasaki photo by Skip Gray/360 North, Dodge photo courtesy Kathryn Dodge)
Bart LeBon is a Republican candidate for House District 1 in Fairbanks.
Bart LeBon is a Republican candidate for House District 1 in Fairbanks. (Photo courtesy Bart LeBon)
Senate President Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, talks to reporters at a Senate Majority press availability, April 13, 2017. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)
Senate President Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, in April 13, 2017. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

The leads changed Tuesday in two still-undecided Fairbanks elections.

Fairbanks Democratic Rep. Scott Kawasaki took a 152-vote lead over Republican Sen. Pete Kelly for Kelly’s seat. That’s after state elections workers counted questioned ballots.

In addition, Democratic House candidate Kathryn Dodge took a 10-vote lead over Republican Barton LeBon to fill the seat Kawasaki vacated to challenge Kelly.

Going into the questioned-vote count, Kelly was leading by 11 votes and LeBon led by 79.

However, there are still some absentee ballots that need to be counted before the results will be finalized. Further counting is scheduled for Friday.

Kelly was the Senate president over the past two years. If Kawasaki maintains his lead, there will be 13 Republican senators and seven Democratic senators.

If Dodge maintains her lead, the House will be evenly split, with 20 members who had indicated that they would caucus with the current, mostly Democratic majority, and 20 members who indicated that they would caucus with the current Republican minority.

Andrew Kitchenman

State Government Reporter, Alaska Public Media & KTOO

State government plays an outsized role in the life of Alaskans. As the state continues to go through the painful process of deciding what its priorities are, I bring Alaskans to the scene of a government in transition.

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