There were four contested Senate primaries in which AK Right to Life PAC candidates were endorsed. Headlining the night was a pair of Senate races featuring incumbent members of the Pro-abortion Democrat-controlled bi-partisan working group. Both sitting Senators lost to more conservative pro-life challengers.
In Senate District D, Mike Dunleavy handily defeated Senator Linda Menard by a margin of 58.22% to 41.78%. Many expected the race to be much closer, but at the end of the day with less than 16% turnout, Republicans went resoundingly for Dunleavy. And in Senate District O, challenger Peter Micciche easily defeated incumbent Senator Tom Wagoner by more than nineteen points. Micciche is currently the Mayor of Soldotna. Neither Dunleavy nor Micciche have Democrat challengers in the general election. Incumbent Senator Cathy Giessel also won easily in Senate District N.
On the House side, AK Right to Life PAC endorsed in 7 contested primaries. Five of those races were in the Mat-Su Valley. Four of the five won by twenty points or more: Wes Keller in District 7; Shelly Hughes in District 8; Lynn Gattis in District 9; and Bill Stoltze in District 11. Incumbent Peggy Wilson also won by double digits in District 33. As mentioned above, District 6 challenger George Rauscher still trails by a narrow margin with 10% of precincts not yet reporting.
While two races were decided against AK Right to Life PAC’s endorsed candidates, there is good news even there. In House District 26 where our endorsed candidate, Larry Wood, came in second, the winner, Lora Reinbold, is also a strong pro-life conservative. And in Senate District C, where AK Right to Life PAC endorsed long-shot candidate David Eastman, the winner, Click Bishop, is also pro-life with some exceptions.
On behalf of Alaska Right to Life, I would like to offer our sincere congratulations to the winners of tonight’s primaries, and many thanks to all the pro-life candidates who stood up and were counted in this election cycle. May God bless you for your efforts. Onward and upward!
Matt Johnson is the executive director of Alaska Right to Life.