Former Alaskan governor and 2008 vice president hopeful Sarah Palin advanced to the Nov. election for the 49th state’s only House of Representatives seat.
Alaska recently adopted the “ranked-choice” voting system; therefore, the Nov. race will be a competition between the top four candidates.
According to Ballotpedia, with ranked-choice voting, the voter “ranks” candidates in numerical order of their preference, rather than choosing one candidate over another. The candidate with the majority of first-preference votes is declared the winner. Candidates with the fewest first preferences are eliminated and those ballots then move to the second preference for a new tally. The process continues until one candidate has a clear majority.
Fellow Republicans Nick Begich, Tara Sweeny, and Democrat Mary Peltola will join Palin on the Nov. ballot.
According to Five-Thirty-Eight, the results didn’t fall far from what was expected. As for who emerges as the winner, it’s a wait-and-see game.
The GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski and her GOP Trump-backed challenger Kelly Tshibaka advanced to the Senate race during Tuesday’s primary. Democrat Patricia Chesbro is also expected to move to the ballot. The fourth will come from the small vote percentages of the remaining candidates.
Palin was encouraged to run for congress by former President Donald Trump, who has campaigned for her in the Frontier state.
A special election to fill the seat of Republican Don Young, who died in March, is also underway. Palin, Begich and Peltola are all hopefuls in the separate election. The candidate who wins will fill Young’s vacant seat, finishing his term that ends in Jan.
Palin’s re-emergence into the political arena after a 14-year hiatus surprised many last spring. However, when she resigned from her position as governor in 2009, with a year and a half of her term remaining, she noted she could effect greater change outside of the political arena.
Palin is an unashamed conservative and anti-establishment candidate. At a recent rally with Trump, she blasted Washington, DC RINO’s – Republicans In Name Only – “who do the Democrats bidding while pretending to oppose them.”
“Contrary to what you might have heard them saying about me… I’ve always been a fighter for Alaska’s interests,” Palin said. “So let the RINO’s and their corrupt establishment buddies come after me. I’m going to keep fighting for you.”
The New York Post reported that Palin vowed to fight corruption in Washington if elected to Congress. She criticized Alaska’s new election system as “crazy, convoluted, undesirable.”
“Voters are confused and angry and feel disenfranchised by this cockamamie system that makes it impossible to trust that your vote will even be counted the way you intended,” said Palin.
The former governor continued, “We’ll keep fighting to equip Alaskans with the information they need to make sure their voices are heard amid this Leftist-crafted system — no matter how hard the corrupt political establishment works to silence us.”
Some pundits labeled Palin as polarizing but recognized her populist appeal.