Election to the United States House from the at-Large District of Alaska
- Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola is running against three others — including Sarah Palin — in Alaska’s congressional district.
- Alaska has only one congressional district and therefore does not go through a redistricting process.
- After Peltola’s special election win, The Cook Political Report changed its prediction for the race from “probably Republican” to “toss-up.”
Democratic Representative Mary Peltola of Alaska faces three challengers in the general election for Alaska’s congressional district.
Alaska Congressional District Candidates
Peltola, who won the Alaskan seat in the U.S. House special election, is the first Alaskan to be elected to the House of Representatives. Her victory also made Peltola the first woman to represent Alaska in the House and the first Democrat to do so since 1972.
Originally from Alaska Yup’ik, Peltola worked as a herring and salmon technician for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. She served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1999 to 2009 and as executive director of the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, where she helped mobilize 118 tribes and rural Alaskans to advocate for for the protection of salmon runs in the western regions of the state. .
After Peltola defied expectations to defeat former Republican Gov. Sarah Palin and a slew of other candidates earlier this year in a special election that used the state’s newest ranked voting system, The Cook Political Report changed its forecast of the race from “probably Republican” to “toss-up”.
Peltola is serving the remainder of former Rep. Don Young’s term after his death in March and will be re-elected to a full term in November. Young, who died at 88, was the longest serving Republican in the House and was the oldest member of the House and Senate.
Palin, the former governor of Alaska, has known Peltola for years and served alongside him in the Alaska state house. After her win, Peltola told Insider that Palin complimented her as “a real Alaskan chick.”
“We texted this morning and she sent me her best wishes and let me know she was calling me, let me make sure I say it right, ‘real Alaskan chick. Beautiful, smart and tough,’” she said.
After her defeat, Republicans attacked ranked voting, which Palin herself railed against, calling it a “cockamamie system” that is “very, very potentially riddled with fraud.”
Palin, Alaska’s first female governor, as well as the first woman to appear on the Republican Party’s vice presidential ticket, is a commentator, author, and reality TV personality. She began her political career in the town of Wasilla, Alaska, as a member of the city council, where her family moved when she was eight years old. After serving as Mayor of Wasilla and Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, she was elected Governor of Alaska in 2006.
Palin burst onto the national political scene in 2008 when Republican Senator John McCain named her, a self-proclaimed “hockey mom” with almost no foreign policy experience, as his presidential running mate.
The McCain-Palin ticket ultimately lost the election to President Barack Obama.
Although the 2022 general election in Alaska, like the special election, is largely centered on Peltola and Palin, Alaska’s ranked-choice voting system makes it a four-way race.
Two other candidates will also be in the running to represent the non-contiguous U.S. state: Nick Begich, who co-chaired the late Rep. Don Young’s 2020 re-election campaign, and libertarian Chris Bye.
Republican Tara Sweeney had qualified for the four-way race but pulled out, meaning Bye – originally 5th place – qualified for the general election.
Voting history for the at-large congressional district of Alaska
The Alaska General District, where former President Donald Trump had a 10 percentage point margin of victory over Biden in 2020, is the state’s only congressional district and therefore is not going through a redistricting process. . The neighborhood has a Republican partisan streak.
The race for money
According to OpenSecrets, Peltola has raised $4.2 million, spent $1.9 million and has $2.3 million as of September 30. His main opponent, Palin, raised $1.6 million, spent $1.4 million and has $194,770 in cash, while Begich raised about $1.5 million, spent just under $1. million dollars and had approximately $550,000 in cash as of September 30.
What the experts say
The race between Peltola and Palin has been called a “toss-up” by Inside Elections, a “toss-up” by The Cook Political Report and a “Democratic lean” by Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.