Fri. Jan 27th, 2023

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ANCHORAGE — Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Republican establishment favorite Nick Begich III and independent Al Gross have advanced in an all-party primary election for Alaska’s sole seat in the U.S. House, according to The Associated Press.

They will be three of four candidates on the ballot in an Aug. 16 ranked-choice general election to decide who will serve out the term of late Rep. Don Young (R), the state’s longtime congressman who died suddenly in March.

By Wednesday night, officials had not projected which other candidate had earned enough votes to make it to the top four and therefore advance to the general election.

With 82 percent of the votes reporting, Palin had 28 percent of the vote, compared to Begich with 19 percent and Al Gross with 13 percent.

Alaska is having the wildest election of 2022

Palin declared victory on Saturday after the first of four ballot counts showed her solidly ahead of the other 47 candidates vying for the federal seat. Palin had an endorsement from former president Donald Trump and name recognition in a crowded field.

“I am looking forward to the special general election so we can highlight our ideas for fixing this country,” she said on Twitter Saturday, discussing “the right to keep and bear arms, and restoring respect for individual liberty and the Constitution.”

Begich, endorsed by the state GOP, launched his campaign while Young was still alive, casting himself as the more conservative candidate though he is from an Alaska family famous in state Democratic politics.

In a Friday interview with The Washington Post, Begich said he saw Palin as his greatest electoral threat and criticized her for raising taxes on oil profits as governor and spending time outside of Alaska in recent years.

“Will America pursue celebrity, what you might call a celebritocracy?” he said in the interview. “Or will America pursue sound policy, thoughtful policy and representation that aligns with that?”

Sarah Palin takes early lead in crowded House race in Alaska

The Alaska Division of Elections has two more ballot counts scheduled, with the aim of certifying the election June 25.

Voters will select Young’s longer-term successor through another election, which starts with a pick-one primary also scheduled for Aug. 16 and ends with a ranked-choice vote in November. More than 30 people are running.

Hannah Knowles contributed to this report.

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