Mary Peltola tries to block Sarah Palin as Alaska tabulates electoral votes
Republic of Alaska Mary PeltolaThe Democrat, who won the special election that sent him to Congress this summer, will again block the former governor. Sarah Palina proposal for a political comeback. CNN predicted on Wednesday that Peltola would win the race A big place at home in Alaska after the state ranked choice voting schedulePalin defeated Republican Nick Begich III.
CNN also predicts Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski will win re-election. She defeated Republican Kelly Tshipaka and Democrat Patricia Chesbrough. CNN had previously predicted that the seat would be held by a Republican.
Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy will win re-election, CNN predicts. He defeated Democrat Les Gara and independent Bill Walker. Dunleavy won more than 50% of the first-choice votes, so there was no need for a ranked-choice table.
In 2020, voters in Alaska approved a switch to ranked-choice voting. It will take place for the first time in 2022.
Under the new system, Alaska will hold open primaries, with voters voting for one candidate from each party, with the top four candidates advancing. In the general election, voters rank these four candidates from their first choice to their fourth choice.
If no candidate receives 50% of first-choice votes, the state tabulates ranked-choice results – dropping the last-place finisher and transferring those votes to voters’ second choice. If there is no winner at the end of one round, the third-placed player will be eliminated and the same vote will be replaced.
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Peltola first won when a similar scenario played out in an August special election to fill the remaining months of the term of the late Don Young, a Republican who died in March after representing Alaska in the House for 49 years.
Casting himself as an abortion rights supporter and salmon fishing advocate, Peltola won a special election in August after receiving just 40% of first-place votes. This time, he has a bigger stake, and Palin and Begich’s support has dwindled.
The House race featured unusual alliances in Alaska politics. Although Peltola is a Democrat, he is also close to Palin, whose work as governor coincided with Peltola’s time as a state legislator in Juneau. Both expressed warm greetings to each other. Palin criticized the ranked-choice voting system. But he never looked at Peltola personally.
Republicans in the race, Palin and Begich, both urged voters to “go red” and put the two GOP candidates on the first and second lists.
But Peltola quickly won over many people in the state after his extraordinary election victory — in part because he has deep relationships with a number of Republicans.
Peltola said in an interview with CNN that she connected with Palin to become a new mom in Juneau, and that Palin’s family gave Peltola’s family a backyard trampoline when Palin left the governor’s office.
At an Alaska Federation of Natives candidate forum in October, Palin heaped praise on Peltola.
“Come on, nothing can ever hurt me. I want him to switch to another party. But other than that, love him,” Palin said of Peltola.
Peltola’s family was also close to the late Young’s family. Peltola’s father and Young taught school together decades ago and were hunting buddies, Peltola said in an interview.
Murkowski, a moderate Republican in the race for the Alaska Senate seat, has become a target of former President Donald Trump after he voted to impeach her during the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. Murkowski also broke with Trump on a number of key votes during his presidency.
Trump endorsed Tshibaka and former Trump campaign officials worked on his campaign. He was also endorsed by the Alaska Republican Party, which chose to back a conservative candidate in a state Trump won by 10 percentage points in 2020.
But Murkowski has built a broad coalition in a state where political alliances are more complicated than they appear. He and Peltola openly stated that they would do each other first in the election.
Chesbrough, a Democrat, was among four candidates running in the general election. Republican Buzz Kelly also ran, but dropped out and urged his supporters to vote for Tshibaka.
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