A top Alaska elections official said Tuesday that the fifth-place finisher in the special primary for Alaska’s U.S. House seat will not advance to an August special election following the withdrawal of independent Al Gross, who was in third place.
Gail Fenumiai, director of the Division of Elections, said that’s because the withdrawal occurred less than 64 days before the scheduled Aug. 16 special election. In a letter to an attorney for Republican Nick Begich’s campaign, she pointed to a provision of law laying out the timeline.
Fenumiai said Gross withdrew on Tuesday and that the division would remove his name from the special election ballot. She said an upcoming Sunday withdrawal deadline for the special election was “to give candidates a chance to remove their names from the ballot after the Division certifies the election but before it begins printing ballots.”
She said anyone who disagrees with the decisions outlined by the division should “file suit immediately,” citing the timeline to print ballots to meet deadlines and keep the special election on track.
Elections officials said they completed their final ballot counts on Tuesday. Officials are aiming to certify the special primary by Saturday.
Gross, an orthopedic surgeon, was in third place in the June 11 special primary, behind two Republicans — former Gov. Sarah Palin and Begich, a businessman — and ahead of Dem…