—Posted by Matt Buxton, staff writer
Just two votes separate the contenders for House District 34, a Southeast district that includes Haines and Sitka, and its outcome could have a big impact on Fairbanks’ representation in the House.
That’s because if Sitka Democrat Jona Kreiss-Tomkins, who was ahead on election night but has fallen behind in absentee counting, loses to incumbent Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Haines, the House Democrats would be guaranteed one less seat on the powerful House Finance Committee.
That could be bad for Fairbanks Democratic Rep. Scott Kawasaki, who appointed to the committee this year and is the most junior member.
Kawasaki is slated to be the second Fairbanks-area Democrat on the important budget-setting committee with Rep. David Guttenberg. Fairbanks also has two Republicans on the committee, Reps. Tammie Wilson and Steve Thompson, for a total of four Fairbanksans on the committee.
A few hundred more absentee ballots have yet to be counted and they’re expected to be counted on Nov. 19 and 21.