KDLG Header Banner Image
Public Radio for Alaska's Bristol Bay
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

In the midterm election, House District 37 swung left while the state swung right

Alaska Division of Elections via Google Maps

Democratic incumbent Representative Bryce Edgmon won the district by almost 30 points, while the GOP saw victories in major statewide races.

Preliminary results are in for the 2018 midterm election, with all precincts reporting in House District 37 and Senate District S. Incumbent Democratic Representative Bryce Edgmon won with 62 percent of the vote. Republican challenger William Weatherby received 35 percent of the vote.

Edgmon said that he is pleased with the results and happy that a rough campaign season is over.

“I thought it was an affirmation towards the current pathway of putting a sound fiscal footing forward, putting district priorities first and foremost. I’d say that it was probably the most divisive – the most partisan – election that I’ve been in. And this is my seventh election. From that standpoint, I’d hope that in the future, we would come together more as a district on these key issues," he said.

One of those issues was the Permanent Fund Dividend. Weatherby campaigned heavily to return to an old formula for determining PFDs. Edgmon said that he will continue to work with other legislators to balance dividend funding with other budget priorities.

"It’s something we’re striving for," he said. "But under the current fiscal situation, with a huge hole in our budget, we’ve also got to make sure that schools are funded and other basic services are provided while maintaining the long-term sustainability of the Permanent Fund Dividend.”

Weatherby was, unsurprisingly, disappointed in Tuesday's results. He said that he lost many precincts despite spending time in communities around the region.

"Places where had I thought I had done well, I didn't. Sand Point -- I put in a lot of effort the past couple of days here and I lost Sand Point, so that was pretty disappointing. But I won other places, so that was encouraging."

This was Weatherby’s second run for the office. Edgmon has served as representative since 2007.

Democratic incumbent Senator Lyman Hoffman ran unopposed for District S, receiving 83 percent of the vote. Write-in candidates garnered four percent.

Turnout around the district was about 36 percent. In Dillingham, 41 percent of registered voters made it to the polls. Naknek voter turnout was 35 percent, and turnout in King Salmon was 37 percent. In the elections for governor and the state’s congressional representative, the district swung to the left of overall results.

Almost 60 percent of voters in the district supported Ballot Measure 1, which was rejected by about 60 percent of voters statewide.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Begich lost the race, but he won District 37 by about 30 points against Republican Mike Dunleavy. For context, Begich received 43 percent of the vote statewide, while Dunleavy won 52 percent.

In the congressional race, Republican incumbent Representative Don Young won the district, defeating Independent challenger Alyse Galvin. But Young’s margin of victory was narrower than in statewide results. He won the district by only three points. Statewide, he won by nine points.

An interactive map from the Alaska Division of Elections shows a breakdown of election returns in District 37 and around the state. 

Contact the author at isabelle@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.

Izzy Ross is the news director at KDLG, the NPR member station in Dillingham. She reports, edits, and hosts stories from around the Bristol Bay region, and collaborates with other radio stations across the state.