Alaska, Oklahoma and Wyoming Voters Cast Ballots in Primary Elections

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 23, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Alaska, Oklahoma and Wyoming Voters Cast Ballots in Primary Elections Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 23, 2006

Juneau, AK ( — Voters in Alaska, Oklahoma and Wyoming yesterday went to the polls to determine the candidates they want to send to the general election from each party. The primary elections saw relatively few surprises and set up some key election battles in November between pro-life and pro-abortion candidates.

In Alaska, as many political observers expected, pro-life former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palinwon the Republican primary for governor defeating embattled pro-life incumbent Governor Frank Murkowski.

Palin captured 51%, former State Senator John Binkley was second with 30%, followed by Murkowski with 19%.

On the Democratic side, pro-abortion former Governor Tony Knowles cruised to victory over State Representative Eric Croft by a vote of 73% to 26%.

Following the vote, Murkowski and Binkley endorsed Palin and Croft endorsed Knowles on Tuesday night.

Former GOP State Representative Andrew Halcro (Independent) also filed his gubernatorial candidacy on Tuesday, stating he submitted more than enough signatures to ensure his place on the November ballot. He isn’t expected to have much of a shot in a race where Knowles and Palin are considered very close.

Former State Senator Sean Parnell, a pro-life Republican, and State House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz, a Democrat, won their respective Lieutenant Governor primaries.

In Wyoming, pro-life Republican Rep. Barbara Cubin won her primary to face Teton County School Board Chair Gary Trauner, the Democrat, in November. Cubin is expected to win the race.

Pro-abortion Gov. Dave Freudenthal, the Democrat, and pro-life attorney Ray Hunkins, the Republican, cruised to landslide gubernatorial primary victories. Freudenthal is a favorite to win a second term in November.

There were no primaries in the Senate race but pro-life Sen. Craig Thomas, a Republican, is expected to easily defeat college professor Dale Groutage, the Democrat, in the general election.

In Oklahoma, Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin, cruised to an easy run-off victory Tuesday in the race for the Republican nomination in the 5th Congressional district. Fallin defeated Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett by nearly a 2-to-1 margin.

The seat, currently held by pro-life GOP gubernatorial nominee Ernest Istook, is strongly Republican and she is expected to win easily in November.

Voters in both major parties also selected nominees for Lieutenant Governor. Pro-life state House Speaker Todd Hiett won the GOP race by two points and State House Minority Leader Jari Askins won the Democratic contest by eight points.