Recount in Alaska Senate race reaffirms Giessel as winner

Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, at a Senate Majority press availability in 2017. Giessel will be the Senate president in the 31st Legislature. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

A recount of an Anchorage-area state Senate race reaffirmed Republican Cathy Giessel as the winner.

The recount was conducted by the state Division of Elections Wednesday at the request of Democrat Roselynn Cacy, who was the first of the three candidates in the Senate District E race to be eliminated in the Nov. 8 ranked vote contest. The other candidate in the race was Republican Sen. Roger Holland. The results were announced late Wednesday night.

Cacy had said that she had questions about the recording of votes and that transparency around the process was important to her. In her recount application, she cited a 14-vote difference between her and Holland after a round that took into account such things as the distribution of second choices on ballots that ranked write-ins first.

During the recount, both Cacy and Holland gained two votes in that round compared to certified results but a 14-vote difference remained, according to results released by the division.

Giessel, a former state Senate president, lost her Republican primary to Holland in 2020.

Alaska elections this year were held under a new voter-approved system that instituted open primaries and ranked vote general elections.

Giessel won last month’s election with nearly 57% of the vote.

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