“I’m not going to say because I want the suspense to lay there. The guy was such an a–hole,” he said. “You know, he lied on so many things and he was supposed to run a clean campaign and he didn’t. So I’m just going to wait.”Not a lot of class, I'm afraid. But I'd wager that he'll ask for the recount. He's still in the free recount zone.]
Thomas also didn’t hesitate to make his feelings known about the results of the election.
“The district just committed hara-kiri,” he said. “They just didn’t realize what they had as far as seniority and leadership position.”
Bill Thomas, the Republican representative from Haines, seems to have lost reelection by 28 votes. Democrat Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins of Sitka is now ahead with 100% of the votes counted. Thomas can request a recount.
From the Division of Elections website:
|HOUSE DISTRICT 34|
|Number of Precincts||15|
|Thomas, William A. "||REP||4082||49.74|
According to BallotPedia (They make things easier to find than the Alaska statutes):
There are no automatic recount provisions in Alaska election law, except in the event of a tie vote for two or more candidates for the same office for which there is to be elected only one candidate. A recount may be requested by a defeated candidate or ten voters within a particular precinct or state house district. Recount requests must made by filing an application with the elections director within five days of the state review of the votes . . .The difference was more than 20 votes, but less than 0.5% (which would be 40 votes if there was a total of 8000) so he wouldn't have to pay for the recount. He has nothing to lose by asking for a recount.
If the difference between the number of votes cast was 20 or less or was less than 0.5% of the total number of votes cast for the two candidates for a contested office, the state bears the cost of the recount. Otherwise the application for recount must include a deposit of $300 per precinct, $750 per state house district, and $10,000 for a state recount request.
Thomas and the Shootout
It may be fitting that we learn this the week of the Great Alaska Shootout, because Rep. Thomas put money into the budget to subsidize rural Alaskans' flights to Anchorage to attend the basketball tournament.
KTUU reported in June:
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The University of Alaska Anchorage says more than 1,500 people could receive free plane tickets in November -- funded by an appropriation from the state’s capital budget -- from 18 Alaska cities to Anchorage with the purchase of tickets to the 35th annual Great Alaska Shootout. House Finance Committee co-chair Rep. Bill Stoltze’s (R-Chugiak) office confirmed the source of the funds Friday afternoon.
The committee’s other co-chair, Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Haines), pushed for the $2.5 million appropriation to UAA. He said the money was meant to keep the Shootout alive, but didn’t come with restrictions on what UAA could do with it.
Dermot Cole had a blistering editorial on this, also last June, in the Fairbanks News Miner.
Loss of Minority Legislators Due To Redistricting
If this vote count holds, it would make the second Southeast Alaska Native to lose after this redistricting. Also, the legislature's only black member, Senator Bettye Davis lost after her district was gerrymandered to take away her base constituents and add much more conservative and white Eagle River into her district.
Meanwhile, Richard Mauer at the ADN has reported that the attorney who represented the parties challenging redistricting has a new filing in to prevent the current redistricting map, which was a temporary fix so there would be something in place for the 2012 elections, from becoming permanent.
In his filing with the Supreme Court, Walleri said his evidence shows the 2012 redistricting plan "resulted in the destruction of the Senate bipartisan coalition, and the racial gerrymandering in HD 38 greatly contributed to achieving that result." Wallari is a Democrat who has represented Native groups in past redistricting battles in Alaska.The impact of the redistricting on minority legislators was a topic I've been wanting to write about, but I've been swamped with other things. I'll try to get to it before too long.