Murkowski conceded the race to former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin about two hours after the polls closed and pledged to support her.
Palin, running a campaign that portrayed her as a reformer bucking the state's Republican establishment, will now face former Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles in November's general election.
With over two-thirds of the precincts reporting, Palin had 51.1 percent of the total. John Binkley, a Fairbanks businessman and former state senator, was in second place with 29.5 percent, and Murkowski trailed with about 19 percent.
Murkowski, who is the first Alaska governor to lose in the primary election since Democrat Bill Sheffield was defeated in 1986, angered Alaskans by appointing his daughter to fill out his U.S. Senate term, buying a state jet for his personal use and other actions that were considered ham-fisted.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
ALASKA GOVERNOR POUNDED
Frank Murkowski had been in the U.S. Senate for more than two decades before becoming governor of Alaska. And then everything went wrong. Tuesday was primary day in Alaska. Reuters reports:
Quite the beating, but it gives the GOP a slight chance to retain the governor's office in November. With Murkowski, that chance didn't exist.
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What is going on in Polk County?
Voter turnout there far exceeded neighboring counties. In Greene County, we had about 15% turnout for the primary election in August 2006, which also included a countywide sales tax increase.
This bit of news comes from Dave Berry at the Bolivar Herald Free-Press:
Last week I called attention to the civility of Polk County elections and campaign ads when compared to those in other counties. Well, I need to back up and give Webster County its due for the effectiveness of its election robustness.
They do spend a lot more for campaigns there, and it's difficult to argue with their results. The Aug. 8 voter turnout in Webster County was nearly 40 percent of registered voters, compared to a little more than 23 percent here.
It does pay to advertise.
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A 40-percent turnout is outstanding among current American voting standards. However, there are those who will say we should be ashamed to see that as a good result.
Frankly, I'm not ashamed. I'll gladly rejoice over 40 well-informed voters out of a group of 100 registered voters making decisions on leadership and tax issues.
Our better interest as citizens is in better hands even if only 20 percent show up, as long it's the right 20 percent.
And by that I don't mean you have to agree with my positions in order to be among the "right" 20 percent. I don't mind voters of the opposite ilk, as long as they go to the polls knowing - before they get there - what and/or who is on the ballot.
Could it be that negative advertising is driving voters away from the polls? Is there something special going on in Bolivar when it comes to public issues? No doubt, Bolivar is a healthy community with a fine newspaper. Perhaps communication is the key? Of course, with a university there perhaps having an educated population is part of the answer?
What do you think? Why the high numbers in Polk County? What can be done to see an increase in other counties? The answers are all part of revitalizing democracy.
Visit http://publicissueforumsswmo.blogspot.com/ to join in the discussion about revitalizing democracy.
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