After Tuesday’s vote in Alaska’s special U.S. House elections is complete, Democrats Mary Peltola III and Nick Begich III are the leaders with the highest first-place vote totals from early returns. The winner will be announced only after the final ballots are counted.
The Alaska Division of Elections has counted over 120,000 ballots as of Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. The candidate in last place will be removed, and the second-place votes distributed to supporters.
Additional results were anticipated to be reported throughout the night with 233 precincts reporting at 402 locations.
These three special election candidates also run for the general election to fill the U.S. House term that began in January. All three candidates should make it to the November general election ballot.
With almost 38% of first-place votes, Peltola from Bethel was the only Democrat.
Palin came in second with 33% of first-place votes. This was due to her name recognition. Begich (a businessman running for statewide office) came in third with just under 29%.
1.4% of voters voted for write-in candidates because there were still many votes that needed to be counted. These include Tara Sweney (a moderate Republican and Inupiaq) who ran a six-figure campaign, which attracted support from Alaska Native corporations.
The results for the U.S. House special race will not be certified before September 2nd. The winner will then be sworn into office to finish Young’s term. Young will likely campaign in the lead-up to the November elections.
These were the top vote-getters at the pick-one primary that will determine which candidates appear on the November ballot. They emerged as clear leaders from a field of 22 candidates.
Two weeks remain before the special election ballot counting is complete. The number of voters who ranked the most candidates in the first ranked vote will determine the outcome.
Many love Palin, but many Alaskans dislike her. Many Alaskans remember Palin’s decision to resign from her position as governor to become a reality television star. However, they also dislike her.
While ranked choice voting can be a way to reduce negative campaigning, it also allows candidates to compete for second-place votes against each other. Begich spent the last evening of campaign day at a Wasilla fundraiser hosted by Palin’s ex-stepmother. Begich spent the final evening of campaign day at Wasilla, where he was hosted by Palin’s stepmother and father.
Palin displayed a campaign sign near a Wasilla intersection next to Begich supporters who were holding large posters.
Palin waved campaign signs in Wasilla and stated that “Had his opponent run a positive election and his rhetoric been not so deceptive”,
Begich stated that Palin’s attacks were a “classic piece” of campaigning.
Begich said that the public should know about Begich, his policies, and his background. Begich also gave advice to the public on the backgrounds and personalities of his opponents. He said Tuesday that Palin was the second choice and that he had written “Donald Duck Jr.” to be his third choice.
Palin stated she did not rank any other candidates but herself.
“I don’t believe in that system”. She continued to criticize ranked-choice voting, but she said that she would accept the results even if they were not in her favor.
“I won’t be a stinker about that. I respect their will and decisions”. She stated that she will ask many questions to Alaskans who are concerned. But, I don’t intend to confuse the waters or make accusations if there’s no clear evidence.
Peltola said that ranked-choice voting made “all the contenders a little less civil.” Begich and Palin have been harsh about one another, but Peltola stated that she believes it could have been worse if there was ranked option voting.
Matt Shuckerow, a former Young political consultant, said that Palin is now “in control”. He predicted that if she remains in second place, she would likely get enough Begich voters’ second-place vote votes to propel her forward over Peltola.
Shuckerow said that it is possible to still be dissatisfied with a system and still run a race within its scope.
November is in the rearview mirror
Begich said in a phone call that he was still optimistic about his November campaign, even after Tuesday’s results. Anton McParland (Peltola’s campaign manager) stated that they had already begun to look ahead to November.
Shuckerow said that November’s election results could differ from the special election results. This can have an impact on both campaign strategies and the composition of voters.
Shuckerow stated there are still many elections to be won.
John-Henry Heckendorn, a political consultant, runs Ship Creek Group. He stated that the results were especially encouraging for the Democrat Campaign.
Heckendorn said that Mary has the highest ceiling among all the candidates.
While some candidates have criticized the system, most voters said Tuesday that the ranked voting system is intuitive despite concerns about its impact on their lives. Michele Wesson, Anchorage, stated that the ranked vote felt no different.
Mike Coons was a Begich supporter who attended the Wasilla fundraiser. He stated that he voted early, and ranked Begich and Palin first. She stated that she would do more to help Alaska if she wasn’t elected.
Coons said that she did not promote Alaska.
Palin supporters claim that the state will benefit from her fame. They also question Begich’s conservative policies, given his support of his uncle Mark Begich in his 2008 and 2014 Senate elections.
“She will be well-known and she won’t be the last person there. Julie Brophy waving signs supporting Palin in Anchorage on Election Day. ”
Begich is the last candidate remaining in the special election field for the U.S. House. He launched his campaign in October 2021.
Peltola spent time in Alaska working on rural food security and fishery policies before she announced her congressional campaign. She boasts in her campaign ads that she is not a millionaire. This is because she supports abortion access. Due to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that eliminated federal protections for abortion access, this issue is a hot topic. The Alaska state constitution still protects the procedure.
Begich and Palin made a mockery of each other, but Peltola won the election with a positive campaign and a reputation for being kind. Palin called her “wonderful”, honest and kind. They also shared memories of when they were both pregnant with Palin as governor and Peltola as the state House speaker.
It was a special election right from the beginning. Young was replaced by 48 candidates in Alaska’s first U.S. House race for 50 years. These included a progressive Santa Claus Claus from the North Pole and multiple sitting and ex-state lawmakers. Palin won more than 25% of the votes in the extremely crowded primary field. It was her first attempt to run for office since 2008 when she ran for the U.S. vice presidential race. Begich, a conservative member from a prominent Alaskan family, came in second. Peltola came forth. After the special primary, Al Gross, an independent, dropped out of third place.
The top candidates indicated they would continue campaigning in November’s other election, even though they are waiting for Tuesday’s results.
“We don’t want to stop”. Begich said Monday evening that all will continue.
“I won’t underestimate the will of people if it isn’t my turn to help Alaska with this count. Palin said Tuesday afternoon that she would keep this in mind. “