Alaska At-large U.S. Representative Mary Peltola re-elected

Incumbent Rep. Mary Peltola (D) defeated Sarah Palin (R), Nicholas Begich III (R), and Chris Bye (L) in the general election for Alaska’s at-large congressional district. Peltola, Begich, Palin, and Tara Sweeney (R) had advanced from the Aug. 16 top-four primary. Sweeney subsequently withdrew from the race, meaning Bye, the fifth-place finisher, advanced.

The Alaska Division of Elections released unofficial results on Nov. 23 from the final round of ranked-choice voting which showed Peltola winning re-election with 54.94% of the vote to Palin’s 45.06%. Begich was eliminated in the second round of ranked-choice voting.

Peltola served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1999 to 2009 and was interim executive director of the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. Peltola said, “To summarize our campaign in one sentence: I’m pro-jobs, pro-choice, pro-fish, and pro-family.” Peltola said she was representing all Alaskans and working to advance bills Young supported.

Peltola won the special general election for this district on Aug. 16. Former Rep. Don Young (R), who had held the office since 1973, died in March 2022. In that race, Peltola received 40% of the vote to Palin’s 31% and Begich’s 29% on the first round of tallying. After votes from those who ranked Begich as their first choice and someone else as a second choice were redistributed, Peltola defeated Palin, 51.5% to 48.5%.

On Oct. 21, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) endorsed Peltola. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Palin.

Both the special election in August and the November general election used a top-four primary and ranked-choice voting, a system voters approved in 2020. The 2020 measure established open top-four primaries for state executive, state legislative, and congressional offices and ranked-choice voting for general elections, including presidential elections. Voters could rank the four candidates that advanced from the primary and if a candidate receives a simple majority of the vote, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a simple majority of the vote, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. People who voted for that candidate as their first choice have their votes redistributed to their second choice.

Additional reading:,_2022_(August_16_top-four_primary),_2022,_Top-Four_Ranked-Choice_Voting_and_Campaign_Finance_Laws_Initiative_(2020)