Palin takes early lead in Alaska US House Special primary

Palin takes early lead in Alaska US House Special primary

Juneau, Alaska ( Associated Press) — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is at the forefront of Saturday’s special primary results for the state’s lone US House seat, as voters narrowed down the list to 48 candidates. Running for the position that was held for 49 years by the late US Representative Don Young.

Preliminary results showed Palin supported by former President Donald Trump, With 29.8% votes counted so far; Republican Nick Begich had 19.3%; The independent Al Gross had 12.5%; Democrat Mary Peltola with 7.5%; And Republican Tara Sweeney had 5.3%.

One candidate named Santa Claus, a self-described “independent, progressive, democratic socialist”, had 4.5%.

The preliminary results released by the State Electoral Board included 108,729 votes. It was not immediately clear how many ballots were outstanding. The division reported late Saturday that it has received nearly 139,000 ballots so far. Ballots were to be postmarked by Saturday.

The Associated Press has not called any winners in the special primary.

The top four vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, will advance to an August 1 special election, using rank-choice voting. The winner of the special election will serve the remainder of Young’s term, which ends in January. Young died in March at the age of 88.

This election, unlike any other state, was packed with candidates and was conducted primarily by mail. It was also the first election, in 2020, under a system approved by voters, which eliminates party primaries and uses rank choice voting in general elections.

The first counting of votes took place on Saturday; State election officials have planned additional counts on Wednesday and Friday, and the final count will be done on June 21. He has set a target of June 25 to certify the race.

Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, issued a statement expressing gratitude “to all my wonderful supporters who voted to make Alaska great again!”

Earlier on Saturday, the Alaska Supreme Court reversed and vacated a lower court order that had barred state election officials from certifying the results of a special primary unless visually impaired voters had a “full opportunity” to participate. and fair” opportunity was not given.

State lawyers had interpreted Friday’s order From Superior Court Judge Una Gandhir as election officials prevent the closing of polling scheduled for Saturday. He demanded the Supreme Court to withdraw this order.

The decision comes in a case filed by Robert Corbisier, executive director of the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights. Corbisier sued state election officials on behalf of a man identified as BL, a registered voter in Anchorage.

The sheer number of candidates overwhelmed some voters, and many faced challenges in trying to set up a campaign on their own and make an impression on voters in a short amount of time. The deadline for filing candidates was April 1.

Before Young’s death, relatively few candidates were running for the seat. Begich was among the early entrants; He launched his campaign last fall and worked to garner support among conservatives. The businessman, who belonged to a family of prominent Democrats, was backed by the Alaska Republican Party.

Peltola, a former Bethel state legislator involved in fisheries issues, said earlier this week that she entered the race with little name recognition, but believes she has changed that and her There is momentum behind candidature.

Palin’s run is her first bid for elected office since she resigned as governor in 2009. She was supported in the campaign by some national political figures, including Trump, who “telledly” attended for her and said that Palin would “fight”. It’s harder than I can imagine,” especially with energy issues.

Palin tried to reassure voters that she was serious about her bid and committed to Alaska.

During the campaign, opponents took a jibe at him. Gross, an orthopedic surgeon who ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate in 2020, said Palin had “given up on Alaska.” Begich and Sweeney said they were not going to leave.

Gross said in an email to supporters during the campaign that Palin and Begich were candidates who would be difficult to defeat, but added that he was “ready and able to take on this fight.”

Sweeney was the Assistant Secretary of State for Indian Affairs in the US Department of the Interior under Trump and was supported by a group that represents the leaders of the state’s influential Alaska Native regional corporations.

She said she understands the “pressure cooker” atmosphere of Washington, D.C.