Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin lost Wednesday’s all-party special election in Alaska to fill a vacant U.S. House seat.
Palin lost to her Democratic challenger Mary Peltola by nine percentage points, the results found. Peltola won the election with 39% of the vote while Palin trailed in second with 30%. The former vice presidential candidate attempted a political comeback in April by announcing her candidacy for office.
Though she lost the special election, Palin, Peltola and a third Republican challenger are competing for the full term seat in the November election. The special election was held to fill the vacant seat for the late Republican Alaska Rep. Don Young, who passed away on March 18 at the age of 88 after losing consciousness on a flight from Los Angeles to Seattle.
The race began with a field of 48 candidates and finished between three competitors—Palin, Peltola, and Republican candidate Nick Begich, who came in narrowly behind Palin with 27% percentage points. The initial fourth candidate, Independent Al Gross, dropped out of the race shortly after finishing as a winner in the primary, CNN reported.Gross quitting the race simplified the state’s ranked-choice voting system adopted in 2020 since voters only had to eliminate one instead of two candidates, CNN reported. When Peltola announced her victory, Palin eviscerated ranked-choice voting as “crazy, convoluted, confusing.”
“Though we’re disappointed in this outcome, Alaskans know I’m the last one who’ll ever retreat,” Palin said.
Palin received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump in early April immediately after announcing her candidacy. He touted her endorsement of him during his first presidential candidacy in 2016. “Wonderful patriot Sarah Palin of Alaska just announced that she is running for Congress,” Trump said. “And that means there will be a true America First fighter on the ballot to replace the legendary Congressman Don Young…Sarah shocked many when she endorsed me very early in 2016, and won big. Now, it’s my turn!” (RELATED: Sarah Palin Makes It To The Next Stage Of Alaska Race)
She told Newsmax in March that she would replace Young “in a heartbeat” if she were asked to.
Palin was picked as the running mate of the late Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who ran against former President Barack Obama in the 2008 election. She formerly served as the governor of Alaska before suddenly resigning from her gubernatorial seat in 2009.