2014 Election: Talkeetna is an Island of Blue in a Red Upper Valley

With all but one precinct reporting as of late Tuesday night, both local incumbents for the state legislature seem to have retained their seats by wide margins. Both Senator Mike Dunleavy and Representative Wes Keller received more than sixty-six percent of the vote, meaning they will return to Juneau for the legislative session later this winter.

Voter turnout in the Upper Valley was fairly consistent with the 2010 and 2012 elections. Only Willow showed a turnout higher than 40%. Talkeetna and Susitna both had turnout over 36%, and 26% of Trapper Creek’s eligible voters came to the polls on Tuesday. Because early and absentee ballots are not counted as part of the precinct they come from, overall turnout in House District 10 was higher than for any individual precinct, and totaled just over 48%.

In statewide races, every precinct in the Upper Valley, with the exception of Talkeetna, voted for Republicans. Talkeetna broke for Democratic or Non-Affiliated candidates in every race for state legislature and statewide office.

On the ballot issues, the Upper Valley precincts followed suit with the statewide trends. Susitna, Talkeetna, Trapper Creek, and Willow all voted “Yes” on legalization of marijuana, raising the state’s minimum wage, and requiring legislative approval for large mines in the Bristol Bay area.

These results are still preliminary. Statewide, thousands of absentee and questioned ballots remain to be counted. It’s currently unknown how many of those were cast in the Susitna Valley.

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