Monday, December 03, 2012

Democrat Kreiss-Tomkins Holds Lead After Recount

Jonathon Kreiss-Tomkins, according to the bio in the state elections booklet (pdf), graduated from Yale in 2012.  The 23 year old from Sitka took campaigning seriously and beat Republican incumbent Bill Thomas by 34 votes in the regular election.  The results of the recount today have been posted and while Thomas gained two votes, he still lost by 32 votes.

Photo from Jonathon for State House FB page

The left side (red numbers) are the original tally and the right side (purple) are the recount, which isn't totaled in the photo.  The absentee votes are missing in the whiteboard, but below is the final count from the Division of Elections website. 

This is the second Alaskan Native and third minority incumbent to lose due to redistricting, despite the fact that the redistricting board said over and over again that its main goal was to meet the Voting Rights Act requirements, which required that the districts continue to have the same number of native majority districts.  This district was not covered because of, well, it's fairly confusing, but with definitions of native majority districts shifting, this one was only a slight native majority originally, a category that no longer mattered by the time the board finished in spring 2012.  But the fact is, the Alaska Native presence in the legislature is now diluted by one more.  (We can talk forever about the legitimacy of measuring this way.  I would say in the big picture it does matter, but in any individual election, it may not.)

The Republican dominated (4-1) Redistricting Board did get approval for their plan from the Department of Justice, and clearly they were not trying to bump off a Republican incumbent, but that is the result. The redistricting plan that established the voting districts for the November 2012 election was approved as a temporary plan to be reviewed further by the Alaska Supreme Court. There just wasn't enough time to get a permanent plan approved. The plaintiffs who originally sued have challenged the plan again  after the election, so there is a chance that districts may yet change before the next election.

1 comment:

  1. Bill Thomas lost because of his arrogance and bullying. He made the mistake of threatening members of several city councils by implying that their capital improvement requests wouldn't go anywhere if they didn't support the Sealaska lands bill, and attempted to force projects on communities that they didn't want or ask for.

    He seemed to think that being in the majority caucus and on the Finance Committee was a big deal, but folks were tired of his attempts at negative power politics and his attitude.

    Jonathan impressed everyone as a sincere non-politician who is interested in what communities want, and who won't try to push folks around.

    I don't live in the district but have many friends that do, and they were ready for a change.


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