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Incumbent Sullivan faces Gross in Alaska US Senate race

Al Gross, right, an independent in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race, gestures during a debate with Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media via AP, Pool)

Voting concludes Tuesday in Alaska’s closely watched U.S. Senate race, with Republican incumbent Dan Sullivan seeking to fend off a challenge from independent Al Gross.

The ballot also includes a rematch of the 2018 U.S. House race between U.S. Rep. Don Young and independent Alyse Galvin. President Donald Trump, who won the state in 2016, and Democrat Joe Biden are vying for Alaska’s three electoral votes.

Most of the Legislature’s 60 seats are up for election, with control of the House and Senate up for grabs. The Senate in recent years has been led by Republicans. Since 2017, the House has been held by a bipartisan coalition.

The ballot also includes a measure that would overhaul Alaska’s oil tax structure, which oil companies have spent heavily to defeat, and a measure that would create ranked-choice voting in Alaska general elections, an issue that has cut across party lines.

Supreme Court Justice Susan Carney faces opposition from some conservative groups in her retention vote. The Alaska Judicial Council, which reviews judicial performance, recommended she be retained.

Tens of thousands of Alaskans voted absentee and officials will not start counting those ballots until next week, meaning the outcome of some races may not be known Tuesday.

In the Senate race, Gross, a doctor who is running with Democratic support, has outraised Sullivan in a state that has long leaned Republican. The race drew outside attention with control of the Senate in play.

Sullivan sought to paint Gross as a liberal and flip-flopper who would side with Democrats on an “anti-Alaska agenda,” such as shutting down the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling, while Gross cast Sullivan as timid and a “puppet” for Trump. Gross said he supports drilling in the refuge’s coastal plain and defended changing stances on some issues. Both candidates attacked each other’s integrity.


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