HomeWorld NewsAlaska primary: Sarah Palin seeks comeback backed by Trump

Alaska primary: Sarah Palin seeks comeback backed by Trump

Mr Trump campaigned in Alaska last month for his preferred candidatesImage source, Getty Images

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Mr Trump campaigned in Alaska last month for his preferred candidates

Republican Sarah Palin, who is eyeing a political comeback, is through to November’s election in Alaska in the state’s House of Representatives race, US media project.

Her rivals are Republican Nick Begich III and Democrat Mary Peltola. The fourth contender is not yet known.

Ms Palin, 58, rose to prominence as a vice-presidential candidate in 2008.

She largely left the spotlight before the 2016 election of Donald Trump, who has become her key ally and supporter.

This year Alaska’s party primaries have been replaced with open primaries – the top four runners advance to the poll.

Ms Palin is also running in a separate special election to serve the remaining five months of Republican Don Young, who died in March after serving for 49 years.

That race, where voters used the new ranked choice system, is too early to call.

Ms Palin served as the vice-presidential running mate to Arizona Senator John McCain in 2008, who went on to become a vocal Republican critic of Mr Trump.

She also served as the governor of Alaska between 2006 to 2009.

Her brand of combative conservatism and anti-establishment appeal led many to consider her as the political precursor to Mr Trump.

Mr Begich is a tech entrepreneur and a member of a prominent Democratic family. According to the Anchorage Daily News, the family of Ms Palin’s ex-husband – whom she divorced in 2020 after 31 years together – held a fundraiser last weekend for Mr Begich.

Ms Peltola is a former state lawmaker and advocate for increased protections for Alaska’s salmon populations. If she wins she will be the first Native Alaskan to represent the state in Washington.

In the special election, it could take until the end of August for votes to be calculated in America’s geographically largest state.

The new voting rules mean that only voters’ first choices will be counted at the start. If none of the three candidates surpass the 50% threshold, second-choices will be counted and the candidate in last place will be disqualified and have their votes redistributed.

In the state’s Senate race, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, 65, is through to November’s election. In 2021, she voted to convict Mr Trump in his second impeachment trial.

Out of the seven Republican senators who voted to convict the former president, she is the only one who is facing re-election this year.

One of Ms Murkowski’s opponents will be Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka, 42.

Mr Trump travelled to Alaska last month to hold a campaign rally for her and Ms Palin.


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