Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin threw her hat in a crowded ring to run for the state’s sole congressional seat following the death of the long-serving Rep. Don Young (R) earlier this year.
Some 48 candidates lined up to run for the open seat, but only one of them rose to the top: Palin.
She hasn’t won the seat outright yet, but she has managed to capture a majority of votes thus far, putting her in the catbird seat come August, when a special election will decide the winner. The top four finishers will enter the run-off.
Palin will be joined by Republican Nick Begich, the grandson of former Rep. Nick Begich, D-Alaska, and nonpartisan Al Gross, a surgeon, in the general election on August 16 with the fourth slot too close to call.
This is the first election held after the state made changes to its system and instituted open primaries and ranked-choice voting.
According to Newsmax: “The early results showed Palin, endorsed by former President Donald Trump, with 29.8% of the votes counted so far; Republican Nick Begich had 19.3%; independent Al Gross had 12.5%; Democrat Mary Peltola with 7.5%; and Republican Tara Sweeney had 5.3%.
“A candidate whose name is Santa Claus, a self-described “independent, progressive, democratic socialist,” had 4.5%.
Palin was supported by former President Donald Trump, which no doubt gave her a boost over her competitors.
In April, Trump threw his support behind Palin, a long-time ally of his.
“Wonderful patriot Sarah Palin of Alaska just announced that she is running for Congress, and that means there will be a true America First fighter on the ballot to replace the late and legendary Congressman Don Young,” Trump noted in a statement put out by his Save America PAC.
“Sarah shocked many when she endorsed me very early in 2016, and we won big,” Trump continued. “Now, it’s my turn!
“Sarah has been a champion for Alaska values, Alaska energy, Alaska jobs, and the great people of Alaska. She was one of the most popular governors because she stood up to corruption in both State Government and the Fake News Media,” Trump added. “Sarah lifted the [late Sen. John] McCain presidential campaign out of the dumps despite the fact that she had to endure some very evil, stupid, and jealous people within the campaign itself.
“They were out to destroy her, but she didn’t let that happen,” the former president continued. “Sarah Palin is tough and smart and will never back down, and I am proud to give her my Complete and Total Endorsement, and encourage all Republicans to unite behind this wonderful person and her campaign to put America First.”