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Democrat Mary Peltola defeats Sarah Palin in race for Alaska General House seat

Democrat Mary Peltola has won the race for the Alaska congressional seat, NBC News reported Wednesday, beating former governor and GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

While the election took place earlier this month, the race has not been called for weeks due to Alaska’s new ranked voting system where voters rank candidates in order of preference.

After the first round of voting, Peltola edged Palin by more than 20 percentage points, with Republican Nick Begich, a scion of one of Alaska’s best-known political families, in third place. But since Peltola failed to secure more than 50% of the vote, the vote went to the second round, with Begich being eliminated and his votes redistributed to those voters’ second choice.

The three-way race was a rematch of a special election held earlier this year. Peltola made history in August, becoming the first Native Alaskan to serve in Congress after winning the special election to replace longtime GOP Rep. Don Young, who died in March at age 88. year.

Peltola’s victory is a blow to GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and Republicans, who won a slim majority in this month’s midterm elections. That means a Democrat will hold the General House seat for the next two years, after Young and the GOP controlled it for nearly five decades.

Young took the seat in 1973 after Democratic Rep. Nick Begich, the grandfather of that year’s nominee of the same name, was reportedly killed in a plane crash.

Even before the race was called, Palin, the late Senator John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential election, announced that she was the first person to sign a new ballot initiative to repeal the ballot system by Alaska ranking.

In the Senate contest, Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski won re-election on Wednesday after ranked ballots, fending off a GOP challenger backed by former President Donald Trump.


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