Incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell has retained the seat he took when former Gov. Sarah Palin stepped down, despite attacks by Democratic challenger Ethan Berkowitz over his handling of plans for an Alaska natural gas pipeline during the campaign.
Shortly after 2:30 a.m. Wednesday with more than 98 percent of the vote counted, Parnell had 117,178 votes and 58.62 percent of the vote, compared to Berkowitz's 76,369 votes and 38.21 percent of the vote.
Parnell and his running mate, Mead Treadwell, say they've been lucky to avoid much controversy, since this year's spotlight is on the U.S. Senate race. They've run a campaign based on issues like finding jobs for Alaskans and preventing domestic violence.
"Alaskans wanted us to focus on the issues at hand, they want us to focus on the economy, they want us to focus on providing opportunities for the families here and that's what we're going to do," Parnell said.
Berkowitz, who is running with Diane Benson, did not officially concede the race, saying other votes in rural areas still needed to be counted, but he did not go to Election Central Tuesday night.
"I'm just surprised so many people chose the wrong candidate," Berkowitz said. "I think we offered viable alternatives to make sure the economy is invigorated so that we can create jobs. Instead the people seemed to have chosen party over person, that's the way democracy works."