Incumbent Peggy Wilson will represent the newly-created House District 33.
The new district includes Wrangell, Ketchikan and northern parts of Prince of Wales Island. The Republican captured 58 percent of the vote on Election Day. Initial numbers out of Wrangell put her ahead with 642 votes to Olsen’s 90 and Johansen’s 56. In the end Olsen had 33 percent of votes and Johansen captured about 8 percent.
Wilson had the financial backing of her party and the most campaign cash in the race. She said she was pleased by the support from voters, but thought the race would be a little tighter. Wilson said her track record while representing Wrangell’s District 1 paved the way for her victory.
“During the 12 years that I’ve served Wrangell, you take care of your constituents. And when you help people do different things, and you help your town, they know that,” she said.
Wilson said now that she has won, she’ll get right to business. “The first thing I do is I fly to Anchorage for reorganization. That’s to see who gets leadership positions, and who gets chairmanships and what committees you’re on,” she said.
She said she isn’t sure what to expect when it comes to positions of leadership or committee seats. Wilson currently serves as majority whip and is chair of the House Transportation Committee. She said she is looking forward to the upcoming session and plans to focus on the state’s economy.
Olsen congratulated Wilson on her victory. He said now that the race is over he will focus on his duties in Ketchikan as a city council member and educator. But he mentions he isn’t against another run in the future.
“I just caught myself the other day saying ‘the next time we do this,’ so, I’m not too beat up to say I’m never going to run again. It was a great process and it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed going around and meeting folks and talking to people across the region,” he said.
Olsen said he hopes lawmakers focus on the oil tax issue during the next legislative session. Johansen said he offered a helping hand to Wilson as she takes over his old district.
“I called Peggy and congratulated her and offered my assistance in any way that I can. There are winners and losers and Peggy won fair and square. I’ll do everything I can to help the transition,” he said.
He said he wishes Wilson the best of luck as she moves into her new position. She will be sworn in to office during the first day of the upcoming session. Wilson said until then she will be on the hunt for staff.