Since the moment the Alaska Legislature adjourned four months ago, many GOP seats have been in play due to retirements and attrition, with only two Democratic primary elections appearing on Tuesday’s ballot.
One of those races was set up when four-term West Anchorage Rep. Lindsey Holmes, facing a recall election after switching her party affiliation from Democratic to Republican, announced her retirement shortly after the session ended.
Tuesday’s primary will see two Republicans, Anand Dubey and Matt Fagnani, vying for the GOP nomination to succeed Holmes. Dubey ran for the seat in 2012, but lost to Holmes in the general election, when Holmes held the seat as a Democrat.
A pair of Republicans are also squaring off neighboring District 22. Sherri Jackson is facing Liz Vazquez for the GOP nod to represent the Sand Lake area. Vazquez lost to Bob Bell in a 2012 GOP state Senate primary.
Rep. Mia Costello is vacating her seat to run for the Senate seat formerly held by Democrat Hollis French, who is running for lieutenant governor.
In East Anchorage, Don Hadley and Iron Dog snowmachine race director Kevin Kastner face each other for the House District 16 Republican nomination.
No matter who wins when Mat-Su voters cast their ballots Tuesday, change is coming to the Valley. Six-term House member and House Finance Committee co-chair Bill Stoltze is seeking a promotion, and is facing Palmer Mayor DeLena Johnson in the Republican primary for the newly reapportioned Senate District F.
With Stoltze leaving the House, two Republicans are competing to replace him in District 12. They include former legislative staffer Cathy Tilton and Deputy Mat-Su Borough Mayor Ron Arvin.
Another member of the borough Assembly is also seeking higher office, in a three-way primary to represent District 9. This vast region stretches from the eastern Mat-Su south to Valdez and north to Fort Greely. Jim Colver, who is in his third non-consecutive term on the Assembly, is taking on George Rauscher and incumbent Eric Feige for the seat.
In the Railbelt region, redistricting will cause one House Republican to leave office. North pole Rep. Doug Isaacson and Farmers Loop Rep. Tammie Wilson face each other in the newly created District 3 GOP primary. Closer to Fairbanks, Lawrence Murakami and Uriah Nalikak are vying for the District 2 Democratic nomination.
The only other Democratic primary is in the North Slope. Kotzebue resident Dean Westlake is challenging incumbent Rep. Benny Nageak of Barrow. The winner of this District 40 race will not face a Republican opponent in the general election.
There are also two crowded Republican primaries in the opposite end of the state. Carol Austerman, daughter of retiring Representative Alan Austerman, Louise Stutes and Rich Walker are competing for the Republican nomination for District 32. The district includes Kodiak, Cordova and Yakutat.
A trio of Republicans are facing off in the District 36 primary, after incumbent Peggy Wilson retired from the House at the end of last session. Chere Klein, Patti Mackey and Agnes Moran are jockeying for the seat that covers Ketchikan, Wrangell and Hydaburg.
Polls are open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.