Alaska Senate president Cathy Giessel loses primary

Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, at a Senate Majority press availability in 2017. (Skip Gray/360 North)

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Senate President Cathy Giessel lost her Republican primary Tuesday from a challenger critical of her leadership style.

Roger Holland said he did not think he could definitively say he had won until next week, when election officials count absentee ballots. But he said he felt great late Tuesday.

Giessel, who is from Anchorage and was first elected to the Senate in 2010, did not immediately return a phone message.

Meanwhile, Ronald Gillham of Soldotna won the Republican primary for the House seat that was held by the late-Rep. Gary Knopp. Knopp died in a plane crash last month.

Gillham’s name was among three sent to Gov. Mike Dunleavy for consideration for an appointment to the seat. Dunleavy spokesperson Jeff Turner on Monday said the office did not have comment on the vacancy.

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