Voters in Petersburg cast their ballots inside the Community Gym during the special and primary elections, Aug. 16, 2022. (Photo by Angela Denning/CoastAlaska

In Southeast Alaska, there were no competitive primaries for state House and Senate. All candidates in the primaries will advance to the ranked choice general election. But the results of the top-four primary give an early preview of how voters are feeling about the candidates ahead of November’s general election.

Sitka Republican incumbent Bert Stedman has a big lead over Petersburg Republican Mike Sheldon in the primary race for Senate Seat A. There are a few precincts left to be counted but it won’t make a difference in the results.

Stedman received nearly 68 percent of the votes and Sheldon 32 percent. The new system allows the top four candidates in the primary to move on and Stedman and Sheldon were the only ones running for the Senate seat, which covers most of Southeast Alaska except for the Juneau, Haines, and Skagway area.

In the House District 1 race, which includes Ketchikan and Wrangell, incumbent Dan Ortiz received the most votes out of three candidates. The Ketchikan independent brought in 51 percent, while Republican Jeremy Bynum received 45 percent, and Non-Partisan Shevaun Meggitt had just four percent. Meggitt ended her campaign last month and endorsed Bynum, but she has not officially withdrawn.

For House District 2, which includes Petersburg, Sitka, and most of Prince of Wales Island, independent Rebecca Himschoot of Sitka received 54 percent of the vote, with Republican Kenny Karl Skaflestad of Hoonah bringing in 46 percent.

The House District 2 seat was long held by Sitka Democrat Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins who announced earlier this year he wouldn’t seek a sixth term.

The primary election results won’t be certified until early next month.

The Petersburg-Kupreanof precinct saw a 24 percent voter turnout. In the special election for U.S. House race, local voters were evenly split between former Republican Governor Sarah Palin and salmon advocate Mary Peltola, a Democrat. Both candidates received 36 percent of votes. Republican Nick Begich, who worked for the late Congressman Don Young, received 27 percent of local votes.

In the primary race for U.S. Senate, Petersburg voters supported Republican incumbent, Lisa Murkowski, with 44 percent of the vote over Trump-backed Republican Kelly Tshibaka with 37 percent.

In the primary race for Governor, Petersburg favored former Independent Governor Bill Walker with 40 percent of votes. Incumbent Republican Mike Dunleavy received 33 percent. Democrat Les Gara brought in 16 percent.