Alaska Legislature

Recount upholds 14-vote primary loss for longtime incumbent state Sen. John Coghill

North Pole Sen. John Coghill has conceded defeat.

A recount Wednesday in Juneau failed to change a 14-vote loss for the longtime Republican legislator, who was defeated by Robert Myers, a Republican running in his first race for public office.

Coghill said he will not challenge the result in court.

“At this point, I’m just going to say, ’Look, the voters made their choice,’” he said.

He declined to immediately endorse Myers, saying he will watch his campaign with interest.

Myers, who attended the recount in person, said he was happy with the process and the result.

“I wasn’t expecting the result to change going into it, but of course you’re always nervous — you never know what you’re getting yourself into,” he said.


Coghill was one of seven Republican incumbents who lost in the state’s Aug. 18 primary election. Another two Republican state lawmakers did not seek reelection, and state Rep. Gary Knopp, R-Kenai, died in a July 31 plane crash.

No incumbent independents or Democratic lawmakers lost their primary races. Rep. John Lincoln, I-Kotzebue, is not running for reelection.

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James Brooks

James Brooks was a Juneau-based reporter for the ADN from 2018 to May 2022.