Former Alaska governor and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin lost in her attempt to unseat incumbent Rep. Mary Peltola (D-AK). The race gave the Democrat a full term after she won a special election to fill the seat this summer.
Peltola won the first election over Palin following the death of longtime Rep. Don Young (R-AK), and that victory flipped a seat held for decades by Republicans.
Young held the position since 1973.
The Associated Press on Wednesday evening called the race, with results showing almost 55% for Peltola over Palin’s 45%.
Palin’s run for the House was her attempt at a political comeback after losing the race for the White House in 2008. She was the late Sen. John McCain’s running mate against Barack Obama.
Palin resigned from the Alaska governorship the next year.
Peltola beats Palin in Alaska House race https://t.co/SUo33pWUz8 pic.twitter.com/Q0iPXFGw4U
— The Hill (@thehill) November 25, 2022
The state’s controversial ranked-choice voting system was approved by the electorate in 2020 and replaced the previous partisan primary system that preceded general elections.
This system gives voters the choice of candidates from all parties on the same ballot, and voters rank their preferences in order.
Barring one candidate garnering a majority of first-preference votes, the last-place finisher is eliminated and their votes are reapplied to other chosen candidates in round two. This process continues until there are only two candidates and one has over 50% of the tally.
Palin joined many others in disapproving of the new procedure. In an op-ed written for the Anchorage Daily News last month, the GOP candidate declared the new system “produced the travesty of sending a Democrat to Congress to represent Alaska, one of the reddest states in the country.”
The Trump-endorsed Palin noted the refusal of the Biden White House to even acknowledge that U.S. voters are struggling through a recession.
As for energy, the former Alaska governor said the country needs to “drill baby, drill.”
Peltola this summer became both the first Alaska Native to win a congressional seat and the first woman to represent the state in the U.S. House of Representatives. She tweeted an animated image of dancing crabs after her victory announcement this week.