A Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly member easily outdistanced two opponents in the race for the Republican nomination in House District 7.
After votes were counted Tuesday evening, Drew Scalzi and Democrat Amy Bollenbach, who ran unopposed, were named as candidates for the general election Nov. 7. House District 7 includes the Homer area, Kasilof, Ninilchik and Seldovia.
Rep. Gail Phillips, who served five terms in the Legislature, chose not to seek re-election.
The total vote count was about 18 percent of eligible voters; 12 percent voted the Republican ballot and 6 percent voted the open ballot.
Scalzi, a commercial fisher, received 866 votes, 60.14 percent of the Republican vote. He said he was pleased with the amount of votes he received Tuesday.
"I was very happy. You just never know what is out there and what issues will make the voters go either way," he said.
He said he believes his chances are good in the general election.
Though he has run in Kenai Peninsula Borough races in the past, he said, this was the first race he spent any money on.
He said the most frustrating part of the race was making sure people understood the issues.
"People were very receptive to what I had to say," Scalzi said.
In looking ahead to the next race, Scalzi said, "If we maintain the momentum that we have ... it should give us a pretty good head of steam in the general election.
"I hope our constituents are not thinking 'party line' as much as they are a strong representative from District 7."
Scalzi said he thought the race between the three Republicans was a clean race.
Democrat Bollenbach, a longtime Alaska resident, appeared on the open ballot. She received 666 votes, or 100 percent of those cast.
Bollenbach said she thought the race went well.
"It's pretty good, so far, from my point of view," she said.
Because many people don't vote in uncontested races and because voting numbers were so low in the primary, she said, she is not sure what the general election will hold.
"The general election is up in the air," she said.
Bollenbach said Scalzi's win was not a surprise.
"That's about what we were guessing," she said
She said she plans to make the upcoming campaign a fun race and said the results show those who went to the polls were open-minded and looking for solutions to problems.
"I think it shows the voters are pretty bright," she said.
Doug Ruzicka summed up his thoughts on the race saying, "We're second."
Ruzicka, who received 294 votes, 20.42 percent of the Republican vote, said now that the race is finished, he plans on sitting back and going back to work.
"Back to work and back to life," he said.
He said he does not plan on supporting anyone in the general election.
Dale L. Wunderlich, who lost a primary bid to Phillips in the 1998 election, received 280 votes, or 19.44 percent. He said he was surprised with the results and the low voter turnout.
He said he plans on supporting Scalzi in the general election.
Now that the election is finished, he said, he plans on going hunting with his boys.
Homer News reporter Hal Spence contributed to this story.
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