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September 22, 2021

Election Central Live Blog


Ok, Mudflatters… I’m martinied (is that a word) up, and here at Election Central. There’s a decent crowd and the first returns are coming in. I’ll report on the Republican Senate race and Prop 1, and anything else that is a surprise.

Right now, the first numbers have come up on the big board:
Sullivan – 39%
Miller – 33%
Treadwell – 23%

Prop 1
Yes 50.01
No 49.9

Miller has a better showing than people expected. But, he did that last time. A 6 point margin can be made up in the remaining precincts.

Prop 1 is an absolute nail biter. 5 votes splitting Yes, and No at this point. Anything could happen.


Forrest Dunbar’s people have arrived, chanting “Run Forrest Run!” He’s being interviewed.

He is the first candidate on the ballot to arrive. Bill Walker and Craig Fleener arrived earlier than anyone and got camera time. Walker/Fleener is an independent ticket for governor, and won’t appear until the general election ballot. Smart move to show up first. And he had a large and enthusiastic crowd. He’ll be a contender in November.

Prop 1
YES 19833 50.71%
NO 19281 49.29%

Miller, Joe  7438 votes, 33.04%
Sullivan, Dan 8925 votes, 39.65%
Treadwell, Mead 5456 votes, 24.24%

Mark Fish, Libertarian candidate just walked by. He’s currently 2nd in a 3-way race for Senate in his party. 4.72% for Thom Walker, and Fish with 1.79%. I do not even know who Thom Walker is…

Ray Metcalfe is here with a petition to sign saying legislators with conflicts of interest should be forced to recuse themselves from voting. *cough* We’re looking at you Peter Micciche, and Kevin Meyer, employees of ConocoPhillips…



There is but one lone Joe Miller supporter present. He is mysterious, and wearing black from head to toe, including a fedora, with a red feather in it. No word whether he calls it “macaroni.”

Ethan Berkowitz and the party planner have taken up a post one table to my left. A fan has stopped to take their picture.


A crew from the new Alaska Dispatch News is here, including Alice Rogoff herself, Tony Hopfinger, and the mighty Rich Mauer.

The Party Planner is wearing headphones with sequins on them. Like ridiculous sparkly giant sequins. If she were outside, she would be attacked by ravens.


A new round of numbers:

Miller, Joe  43%

Sullivan, Dan 39.86%

Treadwell, Mead 24.64%

Prop 1

Yes – 50.73%

No – 49.27%

Mark Begich has arrived to chants of, “Beg-ich” with a couple dozen of the faithful. His primary victory was a given, obviously, but they are here and looking celebratory.


ADN has pizza…  I can smell it.



Sean Parnell and Dan Sullivan (Mayor Dan) have arrived. Nobody made a sound – not their own people, and nobody in the room. Awkward! Mayor Dan looks like he’s eaten a bad oyster. So all’s normal there.  The signs already say “Parnell Sullivan” and are in the typical Palin/Parnell style – white on red.



I wonder if the Party Planner will interview Mayor/Lieutenant Dan…


Hoots and hollers of “Beg-ich Beg-ich” come and go. Some of them have signs that say “Republicans for Begich” which are red with an elephant on them.

The Forrest Dunbar crowd is also loud.


Ah! The Yes on 1 people are here now, with red signs chanting “Alaska First!”

I just ran over to the Yes crowd and they are pumped up. Bill Wielechowski just looked at the crowd from the news platform and called out, “We are winning this by 500 votes!” I’ve never seen him look more excited. He was ready to do a TV interview, and pumped his fist in the air. The crowd, including Rep. Les Gara went wild.


I walked through the crowd and got a quick hug from Senator Hollis French standing in a sea of Yes on 1 signs. “It’s a good day right now,” he said. Les Gara looks happy. Malcolm Roberts, former Hickel aide, and his wife Cindy who have worked tirelessly on this are smiling. Chant’s of “We voted for repeal to get a better deal” and “It’s our oil” are ringing through the room.



Just talked to Les Gara after another round of the Alaska Flag Song. He reminded me how close it is, and that the absentee ballots could sway things. But it’s hard not to feel at least a little optimistic at this point.

10:22 New numbers

Miller, Joe – 33.18%

Sullivan, Dan – 39.10%

Treadwell, Mead – 24.62%

Prop 1

Yes – 50.4%

No – 49.6%


Weak chants from like four people, “par-nell, par-nell.”  It’s actually kind of funny the raging level of apathy for our current governor.

I keep thinking I see Byron Mallott, but there just happen to be several people who really look like him. Or it’s me.


Things have settled down a little bit. I see the first few Sullivan for Senate signs showing up, but no fanfare.

Parnell and Sullivan are wandering around finding people to shake hands with. They are weirdly alone. This is my surprise feel good moment of the evening so far. 🙂  They have maybe a dozen supporters here, and some are holding two signs to make themselves look bigger. Dan Sullivan’s wife is chatting with someone while Dan and Sean Parnell get interviewed behind the rope in the media section. They would have been about 2 feet away from the Party Planner if she were still here. But she and her sequin-y headphones have vanished.


New numbers, with 37% of the precincts reporting.

The senate candidates remain virtually unchanged, but Prop 1 has now flipped…

Yes – 49.25%

No – 50.75%


Still no sign of any of the Senate candidates. Sullivan was having a big shindig at Fat Ptarmigan pizza across the street, and their windows were plastered with signs. So I’m guessing he’ll show up at some time, but for right now only three people with Sullivan signs.

Still just the one Joe Miller guy in black, with the hat, standing by the big screen watching the numbers scroll by.

No Treadwell nothing. No candidate, no signs. He has to be disappointed with the results so far.

Former Lt. Governor Loren “the Undertaker” Leman was here before, being interviewed for something. I have no idea why…


More spottings – Rep. Lora Reinbold from the Valley. Mark Begich’s Deputy Chief of Staff Leslie Ridle, former legislator and muckraker Ray Metcalf.

Candidate Brad Snowden (no relation I presume) is running for Governor as a Republican. He’s sitting at a table with his sign that has his name and “Liberty” written on it, with a bell. He also has a bunch of blue balloons, and he’s been talking to another guy for a while. And then he left.


The Parnell/Sullivan crowd is now drifting away. They picked up a few more people… looking like 30 in all. Someone finally pitied them enough to start clapping really loudly to encourage others. They got a tepid clap and a couple of overenthusiastic “Wooooooooooooooo”s. It was a total pity cheer.


TV news crews are starting to pack it up.

Just saw former Rep. Harry Crawford who will be running against Republican Cathy Giessel in a newly drawn district. It’s going to be a rough road for her having to campaign on the east side and in Fairview. I saw a Giessel sign today which had been enhanced with a giant green Sharpie mustache. It seemed to confirm my hunch.

Turncoat Rep. Lindsey Holmes (D—>R) is here, and I just heard her telling someone, “No, no. I’m still in the House now.” But not for long. She saw the writing on the wall and is leaving the legislature. The Dem running for that seat, Matt Claman, was here earlier during the busy time.

There are maybe a third of the people there were at the peak.


New numbers with 55.5% of the precincts reporting:

Joe Miller 33.03% with 20,931 votes

Dan Sullivan – 39.57% with 25,071 votes

Mead Treadwell – 24.49% with 15,518 votes

Prop 1

Yes – 49.02% with 51,484 votes

No – 50.98% with 53,505 votes

I think it’s pretty certain we won’t know the results of Prop 1 tonight. We’ll have to wait for absentee ballots, early voting, and question ballots to be counted. We’re getting used to it at this point, I guess.


For those following the smaller races, it look like Eric Feige is toast. This makes me glad. The guy that appears to be knocking him out of the Republican House seat is Jim Colver.

The Naked Baker is here, for those keeping score. He’s in a little group chatting with Shelley Hughes.

Just chatted with Mark Fish, the Libertarian Senate candidate I interviewed the other day. He’s currently being beaten by a guy named Thom Walker whom nobody knows, and doesn’t appear to be a serious candidate at all. However… the gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker who is running as an independent and is not on the ballot has gotten a lot of name recognition. I’m wondering if people filled in Walker in confusion.


Finally Mead Treadwell and his group show up with a blue and yellow balloon arch.


Mead Treadwell has conceded the race. He said he just called Dan Sullivan to congratulate him, said that it was important for Republicans to come together, and that he would still find some way to work for Alaska. He also said that he had fought a hard battle against Outside money and interests, and it looked like they had won. He talked about his old mentor Wally Hickel and said he’d lost elections but also won some.

He looked dejected, as you would imagine, but was gracious and pragmatic. His daughter’s eyes were red, and she stuck close to his side. There was a warm round of applause at the end, and a mood of sympathy for him.


A new round of numbers, 66% of precincts reporting in now:

Joe Miller – 32.17% with 23,818 votes

Dan Sullivan – 40.02% with 29,629 votes

Mead Treadwell – 24.95% with 18,470 votes

Prop 1 – the gap has widened again. Trying not to lose hope, but we are losing ground. I still don’t think we’ll really know until all the absentee ballots are counted.

Yes – 48.64% with 59,879 votes

No – 51.36% with 63,239 votes


Well, Mudflatters… It’s pushing midnight, and someone decided it would be a good idea to have the first day of school tomorrow, so this weary blogger should get some shut eye. I’ve got more pics and videos I’ll upload tomorrow. But, until then it’s goodnight and farewell from Election Central. Thanks for hanging out with me.



15 Responses to “Election Central Live Blog”
  1. mike from iowa says:

    What’s the damage?

  2. Alaska Pi says:

    Thanks AKM- you last way longer than me.
    Doesn’t look good for Measure 1 but if ADN is right and there are 11K absentee ballots to count I’m not going to throw myself off the ridge yet.
    Still not enough folks turning out for primaries- dang.
    What’s up with the much vaunted Alaskan independence dealie and letting barely above 30% of registered voters set the stage for the general…? Sucking along in the tailwind of the few doesn’t fit the meme. Rilly, it doesn’t.

  3. mike from iowa says:

    Official results hit iowa at 6:30 AM. The skies opened up and dumped rain for about 20 minutes. from the Nothwest.

  4. mike from iowa says:

    It is 4:30 central time in iowa and I iz not happy,but I’m feeling more sorrow for the good people of Alaska who worked so hard to educate numbskulls to no avail. Tranquility Base to Houston- the suckers fell for i……,er the eagle has landed again.

  5. akbatgirly says:

    Looks like most of the precincts are in and “No” is ahead. Several native precincts not in yet, hopefully they’ll go against the corporations. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t! But even if they did lean Yes, there aren’t enough of them to change it 2%. I guess we’ve probably lost………………….so sad for Alaska, we’re just giving our wealth away and when the oils gone, our taxes are going to go thru the roof with all of these stupid and unnecessary DOT projects that they’re spending hundreds of millions on. But nobody will be able to afford the amount of taxes that it will take to maintain all those bridges to nowhere, etc. Guess I should start selling my real estate as soon as the gas line is finished!

  6. Matt Johnson says:

    Thanks, Jeanne Devon.

  7. PollyinAK says:

    Yikes. No is ahead now. I think I’ll go to bed and see how it looks in the morning.

  8. InJuneau says:

    KTUU said Byron Mallott is down here in SE. There’s prob. an election results party going on at Juneau HQ, but we didn’t think about that early enough to go check.

  9. Jeanne Devon says:

    Just added a couple pictures.

  10. Alaska Pi says:

    re:10:04- 32+% of precincts reporting make that 500 vote yes vote lead.
    anything for us in the hinterlands as regards precincts not yet reported?

  11. Alaska Pi says:

    Miller 33% at 9:52…
    measure 1 vote is staying tight but wider than the 5 – thank heavens!
    Wish I was there too.
    Thanks AKM!

  12. David Luntz says:

    Thanks for keeping us informed

  13. David Luntz says:

    I wish I was there with you

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