I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

Sitka challenger Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins got 32 more votes than Haines incumbent Bill Thomas, which means he is the winner for the Alaska house district 34 seat. For now. Last week both candidates said with it this close they’d ask for recounts. I hope Bill doesn’t, as it seems that the good folks at elections have been careful. 32 votes is not 2, or even 7, or 16. 32 is a classroom with too many kids in it. 32 is a Varsity, JV, and Freshman squad basketball team. In Haines, and even in bigger Sitka, 32 is a crowd. In some of the district’s smaller settlements 32 is more people than live there. I would have said the same thing  had the outcome been the other way. It was a good race, with clear differences, and Jonathan ran a great campaign. He is a class act. Congratulations. Even though I voted for Bill, I am thrilled that a 23 year-old cello player and cross country-runner will represent me in Juneau. It restores my faith in this messy, often ugly process, and in youth, in Alaska,– heck– in democracy. I hope the rest of the folks in our district– just 32 shy of half the voters — will help Jonathan succeed. E.B. White said that Democracy is the belief that a little more than half of the people are right more than half of the time. That is what seperates the United States from Cuba. We vote, and we abide by the decision. My advice to Jonathan’s supporters and my fellow Democrats is don’t gloat. Be good winners. My advice to Republicans, and my fellow Bill supporters,  don’t throw stones. Be good losers. (You can hear the whole story on the KHNS  evening news.)