(NEW YORK) — Former Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is projected to have clinched on Tuesday one of four spots in November’s general election for an open House seat, ABC News reports.
In the Alaska Top 4 House primary, ABC News can report that Palin, Republican Nick Begich, Democrat Mary Peltola and Republican Tara Sweeney are projected to advance to the November general election.
Political analysts mostly expected Palin, Peltola and Begich to advance, as all three are currently on the ballot for Alaska’s special general election for the same House seat, which was held by the late Congressman Don Young, who passed away earlier this year. The special election will determine who finishes the remainder of Young’s term, which ends next year. The general election in November will decide who will hold the seat starting in January.
Palin released a statement overnight on Alaska’s use of rank-choice voting in the special general election for the state’s only House seat.
She called the new voting system “crazy” and “convoluted,” asking others to “learn from Alaska’s mistake.”
Rank-choice voting and a top-four primary were part of a ballot measure that Alaskans voted for and passed in 2020. The use of rank-choice voting is expected to delay the results of the special general election, with the winner expected to be determined on Aug. 31.
Palin received former President Donald Trump’s endorsement two days after announcing her candidacy.
In 2008, Sen. John McCain named Palin his running mate while she was serving as Alaska’s governor. Palin resigned as governor a few months after their failed campaign, which Palin received criticism for as it was viewed that she was chasing her newfound celebrity following the 2008 election.
Palin’s involvement in the Tea Party movement was a precursor for the ascension of Trump and the MAGA movement. Both movements tapped into the anger that voters felt during the Obama era. They used that anger to their advantage, speaking to the same audience and hitting the talking points those voters wanted to hear.
Nicholas Begich III is the Republican son of a Democratic dynasty. His grandfather, Democrat Rep. Nick Begich Sr., won the 1970 election for the at-large Congressional district. Rep. Don Young was later elected to fill that seat.
Begich Sr.’s sons include former US Senator Mark Begich and state Sen. Tom Begich. Both are Democrats.
Begich III describes himself as a “lifelong Republican,” having served as co-chair for the late Rep. Young’s campaign for reelection in 2020 and the Alaska Republican Party’s Finance Committee. He’s amassed many endorsements from former and current state officials, including Senate Majority Leader Shelley Hughes. According to campaign filings, Truman Reed, who led Rep. Young’s 2020 campaign, signed on as Begich’s campaign manager. His campaign has raised over $1.3 million, with $655,420.54 cash on hand.
Democrat Mary Peltola is an indigenous Yup-ik Alaskan and former member of the Alaska House of Representatives. As a state representative, she chaired the bipartisan Bush Caucus of rural legislators. In addition, Peltola served in the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission before leaving for her Congressional campaign.
Her campaign prioritizes climate change action, responsible resource development, and critical infrastructure development of airports, ferries, highways, and energy grids.
Sweeney secured the fourth spot in the primary to advance to the general election in November. During the Trump administration, Sweeney served as the assistant secretary of Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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