Final tally puts Davis in Senate

Posted: Friday, November 24, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Democrat Bettye Davis has won a tight race with Republican Terry Martin for an East Anchorage Senate seat.

The Anchorage office of the state Division of Elections finished counting the last of the absentee ballots in the district Tuesday afternoon. The results: Davis, 6,938; Terry Martin, 6,679. The final count gave Davis a 259-vote lead.

Davis and Martin, a Republican, are both former members of the state House. Both decided to run for the East Anchorage Senate seat after incumbent Tim Kelly's retirement.

The Senate District K race was one of the closer races in the Nov. 7 election. By the end of Election Day, Davis held a 319-vote lead. She claimed victory that night.

But Martin wasn't ready to concede, figuring the absentees might go strongly for him. As it came out, the outstanding ballots counted Monday and Tuesday only cut Davis' lead by about 60 votes.

Davis was traveling in the Lower 48 Tuesday and was unavailable for comment. Martin did not return calls to his home Tuesday afternoon.

Local elections director Carol Thompson said 40 ballots were determined to be not countable in the race.

Davis is currently an Anchorage School Board member. She was elected to the state House in 1990 and served six years before running unsuccessfully against Republican Kelly for the state Senate in 1996.

Martin retired from politics in 1998 after serving 20 years in the House.

Ballots from around the state now go to Juneau for a final check by the state review board. That body has targeted Dec. 4 to have its work done. The board then forwards its decisions to state elections director Janet Kowalski, who certifies the election.

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