September 2, 2022
On Tuesday, August 30, Democrat Mary Peltola won the special election to fill Alaska’s only seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for the remainder of 2022, according to unofficial results released by the Alaska Division of Elections—halting former Governor Sarah Palin’s bid at a political comeback, reports CNN.
Palin, the Republican Party’s 2008 vice presidential nominee, will get another shot at the House race in a few months, as she and Peltola are among those vying to fill the full term in a separate election in November.
Peltola emerged as the victor on Wednesday when Alaska’s Division of Elections tabulated ranked-choice ballots in the state’s first use of the system.
With her victory, the former state lawmaker will flip the seat held for nearly half a century by the late GOP Representative Don Young, and is set to become the first Alaskan Native in Congress.
The race for Young’s seat had been viewed nationally through the lens of the attempted political comeback of Palin, who, after the 2008 presidential election, resigned midway through her lone term in the governor’s office in 2009.
Palin, who has not run for office since leaving the governor’s office, had been endorsed by former President Donald Trump. He called into tele-rallies for her campaign and appeared at an event in Alaska in July to back Palin and other Republican candidates he has endorsed in this year’s races.
Palin criticized ranked-choice voting in a statement after the results were released on Wednesday, calling it a “new crazy, convoluted, confusing” system.
“Though we’re disappointed in this outcome, Alaskans know I’m the last one who’ll ever retreat. Instead, I’m going to reload. With optimism that Alaskans learn from this voting system mistake and correct it in the next election, let’s work even harder to send an America First conservative to Washington in November,” Palin said.
Candidates will get another shot at the House seat in November. Peltola, Palin and Nick Begich—who was eliminated earlier—were the top three finishers in the primary for the regular election for the next full term.
Research contact: @CNN