- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 12, 2022

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s bid to fill the House seat of late Rep. Don Young is alive and well after she picked up the most votes in a nonpartisan special election primary on Saturday.

Ms. Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, topped a field of 48 candidates, including an opponent running under his legally adopted name, Santa Claus.

Ms. Palin moves on to a four-person special general election in August alongside Nick Begich, the Republican grandson of former Rep. Nick Begich, and Al Gross, the 2020 Democratic Senate nominee who is running as an independent.

The fourth slot is likely to go to Democratic former state Rep. Mary Peltola, who was leading Mr. Claus by a few percentage points.

“I’m looking forward to the special general election so we can highlight our ideas for fixing this county and responsibly developing Alaska’s God-given natural resources, getting runaway government spending under control, protecting human life, protecting the right to keep and bear arms, and restoring respect for individual liberty and the Constitution,” Ms. Palin said in a statement.

The special election race is serving as a test case for the state’s new system of open primaries and ranked-choice voting which voters narrowly approved in a 2020 referendum.

If a candidate receives more than 50% of the first-choice votes, then that person will win the race outright.

Otherwise, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and those votes shift toward the next choice on each voter’s ballot.

The ranked-choice process repeats itself from there until a candidate captures a majority.

The winner of the special election will serve out the remainder of Mr. Young’s term, which ends in January.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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