In what may be a historic political comeback, former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is leading early returns from Saturday’s special primary for the state’s single US House seat.
The list of 48 candidates standing for the office held by the late US Representative Don Young for 49 years is being whittled down by voters in the far northwestern state.
Sarah Palin, who has received Donald Trump‘s endorsement, now has 29.8% of the vote tallied; Republican Nick Begich has 19.3%; independent Al Gross has 12.5 percent; Democrat Mary Peltola has 7.5 percent, and Republican Tara Sweeney has 5.3 percent.
Sarah Palin Is Leading
Santa Claus, a self-described “independent, progressive, democratic socialist,” received 4.5 percent of the vote.
Sarah Palin voiced right-wing key messages on gun ownership, abortion, and a wish for a minimal state in a statement, saying she was going to look forward to “healing our country by properly using Alaska’s God-given resources.”
The top four vote-getters will progress to an August special election using ranked-choice voting, regardless of party membership. Young’s tenure expires in January, and the victor of the special election will carry out the balance of his term. Young passed away in March at the age of 88.
This election was unlike any other in the state, with a large number of candidates and a mail-in voting system. This was also the first election under a system that voters passed in 2020, which eliminates party primaries and replaces them with ranked-choice direct voting elections.
The first ballot count took place on Saturday, with subsequent counts scheduled for Wednesday and Friday, as well as a final count on June 21. They plan to certify the race on June 25. Palin is running for the first time since leaving as governor in 2009, midway through her term. Some major political heavyweights praised Palin in her campaign, saying she would “fight harder than anyone I can think of,” particularly on energy concerns, at a “tele-rally” for her.
Palin attempted to reassure voters that she is serious about her campaign and dedicated to Alaska.