Although Ballot Measure 2 was defeated statewide, Y-K Delta voters favored the coastal management program in Tuesday’s primary election. The election was the first one under the amended redistricting plan. The Y-K Delta is split into 2 Senate Districts-R and S-and 3 House Districts—36, 37, and 38. All in all, voter turnout was low in all three house districts. However, the turnout varied greatly from village to village with some communities seeing a strong turnout, such as Kotlik, at 60 percent.
District 36, which includes most of the Kuskokwim River from Lime Village down to the coast (except for Bethel and a few villages) had a 22 percent turnout. Bethel’s district 37, which includes Bethel and most of the Aleutians, had a 12 percent turnout. Bethel itself had a 10 percent voter turnout. District 38, which includes most of Yukon River all the way from the mouth to the Western part of Fairbanks, had nearly a 25 percent turnout.
There was no opposition for Senate or House seats in all three districts. That will change in the general election when Democrats and Republicans go up against each other, at least for some seats.
Democrat Senator Lyman Hoffman was the only one running for Senate Seat S, which includes Districts 37 and 38.
For Senate Seat R, which includes the Kuskokwim’s District 36, Democrat Robert Hendricks ran unopposed and Republican Gary Stevens ran unopposed. Now they will compete for overall votes in November.
As for the House Districts, Democrat Bob Herron of Bethel was the only one running for Bethel’s District 37. In District 36, Republican Carl Morgan Jr. of Aniak ran unopposed on the Republican ticket and Bryce Edgmon of Dillingham ran unopposed on the Democratic ticket. In District 38, David Guttenberg of Fairbanks ran unopposed on the Democratic ticket and Alan Dick of Stony River ran unopposed on the Republican ticket.
Regarding Ballot Measure 2 to re-authorize the Coastal Management Program, while it was opposed statewide, two of the three districts in the Y-K Delta supported it. The Kuskokwim’s District 36 and Bethel’s District 37 both supported the ballot measure. The vote in District 36 was 1,155 in favor and 902 against it. The vote in District 37 was 673 in favor and 410 opposed. In District 38, which includes most of Lower Yukon River, the Coastal Management measure did not have support. There were 1,410 votes against the measure and 1,215 votes for it. And the votes were not split by coastal communities either. Most villages along the Lower Yukon River voted against the Coastal Management program. Meanwhile, more Goldstream Valley voters in the Fairbanks area voted for the program.
Longtime incumbent U.S. Representative Don Young easily defeated his Republican rivals. He had overwhelming support from Republican voters in the Y-K Delta as well.
The race was closer for the Democrats looking eventually to go up against Young. Sharon Cissna won over her five Democratic opponents statewide. She had the most support in Districts 37 and 38. But in District 36, there was more support for her opponent Matt Moore.