Alaska Gets Blue In The Wake Of Sarah Palin Loss

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was defeated to represent the state in the U.S. House of Representatives. Palin is the only Republican woman nominated for vice president and was hoping for a comeback in her great state of Alaska. In less than three months, Palin has lost twice.

Representative Mary Peltola (D- AK) has defeated Palin in Alaska’s House seat race. Alaska’s new ranked-choice voting system delayed the results for weeks. In August, Peltola had already beaten Palin in a special election for the seat, which was left vacant in March by GOP Representative Don Young, who passed. Young held office for nearly fifty years.

Peltola was the first Alaskan native in Congress, but she faced a rematch against Palin for a full two-year term in the election. During the nonpartisan primary in June, Peltola finished fourth. But by mid-August, none of the three candidates in the special election received more than 50% of the vote. Winners this year were determined by a ranked-choice voting system that was approved by state voters two years ago.

When the rank-choice system was implemented two years ago, Palin warned that its adoption was a mistake. But the third candidate in the race, Nick Begich, had his warning for the new system. Begich said that ranked-choice voting showed a vote for Sarah Palin would end up as a vote for Mary Peltola. He added that Palin had lost the majority support of most Alaskans.

In 2008, the late Senator John McCain (R-AZ) chose Palin as his running mate for a presidential race against Democratic nominee and winner Barack Obama. Less than a year after the election loss, Palin resigned as governor of Alaska. In 2009 her resignation was followed by a statement that ethics complaints against her threatened the state.

Many Alaskans were slow to choose Palin due to her 2009 resignation. Some critics also said she had a monotonous campaign compared to a Republican endorsed by state party leaders and a Democrat who ran on the “fish, family, and freedom” platform. Palin is unsure what she will do after the loss but says, “my heart is in service to Alaskans.”