With today's absentee ballots counted, the young Democrat from Sitka, age 23, who cut his political teeth a few years back working for Howard Dean's campaign, is now up by 28 votes over established Republican incumbent and co-chair of Alaska Legislative House Finance Committee and aspiring Speaker of the House, Rep. Bill Thomas.
Yes this is a big deal in this newly created Southeast Alaska district that was actually gerry-mandered to the extent possible for the Republican incumbent's benefit.
How did Jonathon do it in a district of multiple communities, most on islands separated by large bodies of water in Alaska's Inside Passage? And in a year when the Alaska legislature went from a 10-10 bi-partisan Senate to a 13-7, Republican dominated Senate?
First of all, he has youth, brains (attended Yale), passion, vision, policy ideas, physical strength (mountain climber), talent (cellist) and most importantly strength of character.
He's also a bit of a community organizer.
Secondly, in a few short months since he announced his candidacy, he knocked on most doors in all the SE communities in his district, listened, and apparently made an excellent impression one person, one vote at a time.
And finally, he had a dedicated team of followers and supporters across all of Alaska contributing time, money, and their own way of working their own constituent base on his behalf.
There's still possible absentees to come in before Wednesday, but the bulk of the remaining were counted today, 56 for JKT and 28 for Bill Thomas, changing what was a tie as of last Friday to Jonathon being up by 28 today.
Total votes: JKT 4,110; Bill Thomas 4,082
Stay tuned for finals and "officials", but for now, a deep bow, to a new style of Alaskan politics and policy. The ship is turning. And expect to hear more good news from Jonathon Kreiss-Tomkins and Alaska in the future.