Chere Klein, a Ketchikan resident who has worked for the past couple of years in the Legislature for now-retiring Rep. Peggy Wilson apparently won the Republican nomination Tuesday for her boss’s seat.
With nine House District 36 precincts reporting as of midnight, Klein had a clear majority of 44 percent, although questioned and absentee ballots have not yet been counted.
Her competition was Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly Member Agnes Moran, who took about 31 percent of Tuesday’s reported vote; and Ketchikan Visitors Bureau Executive Director Patti Mackey, who came in third with about 24 percent.
In a telephone interview after all but one of the precincts reported, Klein thanked the voters for their support.
“First and foremost, I’m just amazed and humbled by the faith of all the voters throughout the entire district,” she said. “It’s not just Ketchikan, but the outlying areas as well that have made a huge difference.”
In addition to voters, Klein said she owes a lot to family members, who have been out in force helping with the campaign. She said she also appreciates the other candidates for stepping up and working hard.
Klein credited her success with a lot of on-the-ground work.
“The door-to-door talking to the people, listening to people and making sure that I didn’t take anything for granted,” she said. “I really worked hard at it.”
With the Republican nomination secure, Klein will face independent candidate Dan Ortiz in the November general election. She said she’ll maintain the strategy that’s worked so far.
“I’m going to take a couple days break, then back to hitting the ground and pushing forward and doing the same amount of effort for the general,” she said.
The state Division of Elections has primary election results posted online at http://www.elections.alaska.gov/results/14PRIM/