Kenny Karl Skaflestad campaigns in Sitka in 2018. (Robert Woolsey/KCAW)

Republican challenger Kenny Karl Skaflestad of Hoonah has the early lead over Democratic incumbent Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins of Sitka. The winner of that race will represent House district 35, including Sitka, Petersburg, most of Prince of Wales Island and other small communities in Southeast Alaska.

So far 3,990 votes have been counted in the race, a little over half of the vote total from 2018. The total that year was 7,879.

Skaflestad leads Kreiss-Tomkins by 151 votes. Skaflestad has 2,063 and Kreiss-Tomkins has 1,912.

“This morning I kept getting calls, congratulations for what you did, look you’re in the lead,” Skaflestad said Wednesday. “I was thinking and saying, and I’ll say it again, that’s a signal from the voters themselves. That’s an action of the voters. If I were to be elected then the work starts and I’ll have a job to do. But that was the work of the voters that’s represented by the slight lead at this point.”

Skaflestad is a former mayor of Hoonah and works in construction.

KCAW in Sitka is reporting 4,238 votes are still to be counted.

Kreiss-Tomkins has held the seat since 2013.

“It’s an election unlike any other in that it’s basically only half reported at this point,” Kreiss-Tomkins said Wednesday. “So interesting numbers across Alaska, across our district and I’ve done a little bit of drilling into the absentee data, which is of course all outstanding and have some expectations how that will play out. So I think it’s just going to be kind of sitting tight all of Alaska until then.

Those early and absentee ballots will not be counted until next Tuesday, November 10th at the earliest.

For the Senate seat representing much of the panhandle, Republican incumbent Bert Stedman of Sitka has nearly 95 percent of the votes counted so far. Write-in votes are at just over five percent. Petersburg handyman Michael Sheldon ran a write in campaign for that senate seat after losing to Stedman in the August primary.