Palin Defeated in Alaska’s Special Congressional Race

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was defeated in a special election to fill the state’s lone House seat.

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Democrat Mary Peltola will fill the seat for the remainder of the year, replacing the late Republican Congressman Don Young.

She is the first Alaska native in Congress. It’s the state’s first election under ranked-choice voting.

Palin will have another shot at the seat during the general election in November.

Peltola’s victory is the latest in a string of over performances for Democrats in special congressional elections since the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, though Alaska’s ranked-choice system and Palin’s big personality were unusual factors here. Peltola ran as an advocate for preserving abortion rights, as well as protecting the environment and leaning into local issues, like addressing a salmon shortage in Western Alaska.

The Democrat was outspent 4-to-1 by Palin.


David Axelrod, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, told The New York Times Palin’s defeat “would be read as a huge victory for Democrats and defeat for MAGA Republicans.”

“Obviously, there are mitigating factors that should temper the impulse to generalize,” he said.