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With 30,000+ early and absentee ballots still to be counted, the two men in the lead for U.S. Senator for Alaska -- Dan Sullivan -- and for Alaska Governor -- Bill Walker -- are taking steps toward assuming office. Yesterday Sullivan left for U.S. Senate organizational meetings in Washington, D.C. Walker and his campaign partner Byron Mallott have announced their transition team co-chairs: former state Sen. Rick Halford, and Alaska Federation of Natives co-chair Ana Hoffman of Bethel. The Division of Elections will resume tallying votes on Friday, and continue into next week as needed.

With 30,000 votes yet to be counted, AP says Begich cannot overcome Sullivan's lead

Vote!

It's always important to vote and get your voice heard, but today's election has a couple of races that are very close, making every vote potentially the one that could decide whether Democrats stay in the majority in the U.S. Senate, and whether Alaska will have a  new Governor in January.

    

  Major candidates for the U .S. Senate in Alaska are making one final push to rally voters. Incumbent Senator Democrat Mark Begich, and challenger Dan Sullivan held rallies. Sullivan appeared at a rally with Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and Tea Party favorite. Cruz blasted the status quo in Washington, DC., and advocated the abolition of the Internal Revenue Service. Begich called for more cooperation and an end to bipartisan politics.

 Alaska Federation of Natives endorses Begich, Walker, Mallott 

The Department of Justice may intervene in an Alaska Supreme Court case involving the adoption by a non-Native family of an Alaska Native child. Lower courts ruled the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act that give preference to Native families in adoption, do not apply because a formal adoption petition had not been filed.  DOJ requested an extension, and has until Nov. 24 to decide whether to intervene.

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U.S. Representative Don Young, a Republican, is running for his 22nd term as Alaska's sole representative to the U.S. House, a seat he's held for 41 years. He faces Forrest Dunbar, a Democrat, in the general election on Tuesday.

Pollsters are closely watching races in a few states to see whether Democrats are going to hang on to their majority in the U.S. Senate. In Alaska, incumbent Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat, was behind Republican challenger Dan Sullivan in the polls by some five points until last week when Begich pulled ahead by a few points.

Emails describe chaplain's concerns, fears about Alaska National Guard leadership

The Department of Law has begun releasing records about the Governor's Office's response to complaints in 2010 about sexual assault and other misconduct in the Alaska National Guard. Their search turned up more than 10,000 records that require legal review. But the first batch to be released is made up of just a few personal e-mails to and from Gov. Sean Parnell's chief of staff Mike Nizich.

A look back at the 3-day Elders and Youth Conference

Delvin Anderstrom, of Yakutat, gave a keynote address after Elder Fred John gave his. Anderstrom's  nine-minute address was given in the Tlingit language, a rare achievement for a 17-year-old. He says some ideas are best communicated in their original language.

"Scathing" report leads to Alaska National Guard firings

Three leaders of the Alaska National Guard have been fired from their positions. The removal of Brig. Generals Catherine Jorgensen and Donald Wenke, and Col. Edith Grunwald was announced Monday night. Gov. Sean Parnell says the firings are related to the results of an investigation by the National Guard Bureau's Office of Complex Investigations, which were  released in September. The report described cronyism, fraud, and the mishandling of sexual assault cases.

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