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The Latest: High court rules Westlake wins House seat

October 12, 2016 - 5:42 PM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Latest on the legal challengers for a dispute northern Alaska state House race (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

The Alaska Supreme Court has overturned a lower court decision, giving a disputed state House election to the Democratic challenger.

The court's decision came hours after oral arguments ended in Anchorage. The decision means Dean Westlake won the Democratic primary in northern Alaska over the incumbent, Rep. Benjamin Nageak.

The court didn't expand on the opinion, saying it would issue a written opinion later.

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11:45 a.m.

Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Craig Stowers says the court will attempt to issue a decision on the disputed state House race in northern Alaska by Friday.

The state's high court on Wednesday heard an appeal after a state judge last week overturned the primary election results and ordered the state certify incumbent Rep. Benjamin Nageak of Barrow the winner over his Democratic primary challenger Dean Westlake.

Nageak lost the election by eight votes and challenged, claiming election workers made egregious errors in the election.

In overturning the election last week, a state judge deducted 12 votes from Westlake and two from Nageak and ordered the Division of Elections to certify Nageak as the winner.

The state says the court should overturn the lower court, which would leave Westlake as the winner. Nageak's attorney wants the Supreme Court to uphold the lower court.

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1:31 a.m.

The Alaska Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear arguments in a disputed election for the state House of Representatives.

Democratic challenger Dean Westlake beat incumbent Rep. Benjamin Nageak of Barrow by eight votes in the August primary. Nageak challenged the election and last week, state Superior Court Judge Andrew Guidi founds errors in how the state conducted the election.

Guidi deducted 12 votes from Westlake and two from Nageak and ordered the Division of Elections to certify Nageak as the winner, prompting the state's appeal.

The state is seeking the court to uphold the original results showing Westlake as the winner. If that doesn't happen, it asked that the Guidi's verdict be overturned and suggested other remedies.

Those include having the court order a special election, putting both men's names on the general election ballot or voiding the election and allow the state Democratic party to fill the vacancy.

There are no Republicans on the ballot.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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