Alaska Supreme Court rules for LeBon in pivotal election recount case

Bart LeBon leaves the courtroom in Anchorage on Jan. 4, 2019. The Alaska Supreme Court had just heard an election recount case that will determine whether or not LeBon the House District 1 election. (Photo by Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)

A few hours after this morning’s oral arguments, the Alaska Supreme Court issued an order affirming the Division of Elections’ final count in the House District 1 election, meaning Republican Bart LeBon has won the November election by one vote.

The Alaska House of Representatives’ Republican caucus, which has been identifying itself as the Alaska House Majority despite lacking a literal majority, put out a statement announcing LeBon’s addition to its caucus. The caucus can now count half of the House as its members, one shy of a majority.


The Supreme Court of Alaska. (Wesley Early / Alaska Public Media)

The Alaska Supreme Court is meeting in Anchorage this morning to hear arguments in Kathryn Dodge’s case against state election officials and her election opponent.

Dodge, a Democrat from Fairbanks, is contesting the outcome of the recount in her House District 1 election. Election officials’ final count put Dodge one vote behind Bart LeBon, her Republican opponent in that race. A Superior Court judge has recommended the high court uphold the state Division of Elections’ count.

This is a three-way case: Dodge versus the state and versus Bart LeBon and the state Republican Party. The court has set aside 20 minutes for each side.

The case has statewide implications because neither caucus in the Alaska House of Representatives has a clear majority; therefore no one has clear control of House. More immediately, it has also limited the House’s ability to organize and prepare for the upcoming legislative session, which begins in Jan. 15.

Come back to this post for a live video stream beginning at 9 a.m. Friday.

Jeremy Hsieh

Jeremy Hsieh is the deputy managing editor of the KTOO newsroom in Juneau. He’s a podcast fiend who’s worked in journalism since high school as a reporter, editor and television producer. He ran Gavel Alaska for 360 North from 2011 to 2016, and is big on experimenting with novel tools and mediums (including the occasional animated gif) to tell stories and demystify the news. Jeremy’s an East Coast transplant who moved to Juneau in 2008.

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