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It was a likable election.
It offered intrigue and suspense, primarily because of the gubernatorial and congressional races.
Polling in the past week showed Democrat Mark Begich and Republican Mike Dunleavy in a virtual tie in the race for the Governor’s Mansion after they nudged incumbent Bill Walker out of the three-way contest.
The question of who would or wouldn’t pull out was posed and pondered for months, and the Walker withdrawal came about only two weeks before Election Day. With his name still on the ballot, he voted for Begich to attract attention to the fact he no longer was seeking voters’ support.
In the congressional race, polling had Alaska’s longtime Congressman Don Young sprinting at the end of the race against challenger Alyce Galvin in hopes of retaining Alaskans’ support. Galvin gave him a run for the money.
And when the polls opened Tuesday morning, it was anyone’s guess as to whom would be the next governor or congress member representing Alaska.
It might not be what candidates prefer, but, for voters, it felt more like the trip to the polls was truly necessary. It wasn’t one of those far-too-frequent occasions when a candidate sought re-election without an opponent or with one who wasn’t up to the challenge.
So voters did their civic duty to preserve the Republic’s democracy, casting votes that really did make a difference.
Appreciation goes out to the voters, the candidates, their campaigns, the polling-place workers, and the municipal staff who organized and handled the election. The time and the effort is immeasurable.
But, when it’s all said and done, it was a likable election.