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Young Increases Lead in Alaska; Still No Official Winner

The winner of Alaska’s August at-large GOP primary still remains undecided after more than 25,000 provisional and absentee ballots were counted on Friday, although the new vote totals showed embattled Rep. Don Young has increased his slim lead over Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell.

Young is now ahead of Parnell by 239 votes, up from a 151-vote lead immediately after the Aug. 26 primary. Young now has a total of 48,006 votes; Parnell has 47,767.

Still to be counted are an unknown number of absentee ballots, which will be accepted until Wednesday.

The elections review board has until Sept. 15 to certify the results. Under state law, a candidate could request a state-funded recount if the final vote margin is within half of 1 percent.

In a statement released by his campaign, Young said he’s proceeding with his efforts to win a 19th term in November. Young has been linked to a controversial $10 million earmark known as Coconut Road, which the Senate has asked the Justice Department to investigate.

“While I am pleased to hold the lead at this stage of the process, it appears as if we won’t know the final results for another two weeks,” Young said.

The winner of the primary faces yet another tough race in the general election against former state House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz (D).

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