Alaska 8/21 Primary: At a Glance


Alaska politics aren’t like politics in the lower 48. Between their red-hot governor’s race and coalitions in the state legislature, there’s a lot at stake in November. Here’s the 411 on Alaska’s primary.

Alaska has its statewide primary election on Tuesday, August 21. If you’re a voter in Alaska, all the resources you need to vote are listed here; if you’re not in the state, consider sharing this post with friends or on social media to increase awareness and turnout!

Alaska Voter Resources
Confirm your voter registration:
Info for overseas/military voters here
Find your polling place here
Check ID requirements here
Early & absentee voting info here 
Special needs voting info here

Alaska Politics: A Snapshot
• No Senators are up for re-election in 2018
• 1 House Representative is up for re-election
• Voted +15 for Trump in 2016
• Current partisan breakdown of the state legislature:
>>> Governor (I)
>>> State Senate Majority coalition: 14 (R) + 1 (D); Minority: 5 (D)
>>> State House Majority coalition: 17 (D) + 3 (R) + 2 (I); Minority: 18 (R)

Key Races

The sitting governor, Bill Walker, is the only governor in the U.S. who is an Independent. He is running for re-election. He was originally voted into office in 2014 with the help of the Democrats, but in 2018 with former Sen. Mark Begich running for the Democrats, he cannot count on their help this election. This governor’s race has been rated by multiple outlets as one of the most competitive gubernatorial contest this cycle.

Don Young (R) has been serving as Alaska’s sole U.S. Representative since 1972. He is running for re-election. Cook Political Report has this seat rated as R+9, making it competitive, but just barely. The Democrats running for the seat are:

Alyse Galvin – website  Note: Running as an Independent for the Democratic nomination
Carol Hafner – website  Note: Qualified for the ballot despite not being in the state
Dimitri Shein – website

10 of the 20 seats in the Senate are up for re-election this year. Democrats need to flip 5 of the 7 Republican seats up for re-election to control the Senate. A list of the districts with re-elections and the candidates running for those seats can be found here.

All 40 seats in the House are up for re-election this year. While the Republicans have the technical majority, the Democrats formed a majority coalition by pulling in 3 Republicans and two Independents. The Republicans are targeting the three seats held by Republicans caucusing with the Democrats. A list of the candidates running for the House can be found here.

NOTE: If you’re unsure which state district you’re in, type in your address at Open States to get that info.

A Final Note
For a more complete list of state races in the primary, visit Ballotpedia: Alaska Elections 2018You can enter your address at 411Vote to see a sample ballot. To learn about events featuring candidates running for office, connect with your local chapter of the Alaska Democrats.

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7 replies

  1. Hi. Good article but there’s a couple of clarifications here. First of all, the colors for “State Senate” should be red (Republican Senate Majority) and “State House” should be blue (Democratic-led House Majority). Second, it should be specified that former Senator Begich is running unopposed in the Democratic Primary election, but Governor Walker is instead opting to run in the General election. Third, Independents can choose to run under the Democratic primary in our state. Alyse Galvin is an independent, but is running under the Congressional Democratic primary. This is her website:

    Lastly, progressives in Alaska are generally unanimously against legitimizing Carol Hafner as a candidate, as she is from SD/NJ, and has never set foot in Alaska ( I would appreciate if you took off Carol Hafner from this piece. Thank you.

  2. Don’t forget Alyse Galvin! She’s an independent running in the democratic primary.

    • I hadn’t listed her as I normally just point out the candidates running in the Democratic primary, but after getting several comments, I included her with a clarifying note.

  3. Listing only Don Young’s Democratic challengers and leaving out the independent is a badly superficial treatment of that contest. Alyse Galvin is running as an Independent in the Democratic primary, and either Galvin or Shein are most likely to be Young’s opponent in the general election.

    Meanwhile, Carol Hafner is a joke candidate who’s never even visited the state. I don’t know if she’s running for a lark or if someone put her up to it to pull media attention away from Young’s serious challengers — but even this long of a sentence speculating about her candidacy is paying more attention to her campaign than it merits.

  4. Let’s not forget the fact that Alyse Galvin is married to Patrick Galvin, an executive with Great Bear Petroleum and that she wants to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Let’s add a note to mention that fact! She is not a “working mom” as she might like to lead you to believe, but the wife of a wealthy oil oligarch, and has an agenda that goes against the environment. I am the only candidate opposed to ANWR drilling. Vote Carol “Kitty” Hafner on August 21st!

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