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Alaska Legislature

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

  • Author: James Brooks
  • Updated: September 2
  • Published September 2

Gail Fenumiai, director of the Alaska Division of Elections, checks to see whether ink from a folded marked ballot could cause a mistaken vote. Fenumiai oversaw a recount on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020 in a close Republican primary race. (James Brooks / ADN)

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.

Robert Myers, Republican candidate for Senate District B, is seen at the Alaska Division of Elections in Juneau, Alaska on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. (James Brooks / ADN)

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