c994d02922b4f232d0dcff70499775a7084fa52a First Alaskan-born member of the US Congress, Mary Peltola, Wins Full Term.
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First Alaskan-born member of the US Congress, Mary Peltola, Wins Full Term.

Democrat Mary Peltola. Photo: Ash Adams for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Mary Peltola, a Democrat who defeated Sarah Palin of the Republican Party in a surprise special election this summer to become the first Alaska Native elected to Congress, repeated that success and won a full term.

Mary Peltola, a Democrat from Alaska who had previously won a special election to fill the lone House seat left vacant by the death of longtime Republican Rep. Don Young earlier this year, has been elected to a full two-year term. As the first Alaskan Native elected to Congress, Peltola has already created history.

"This agreement is for two years. And as long as Alaskans will have me, I'll be pleased to serve for them once more" On being re-elected, Peltola spoke to the Washington Post.

She also stated that her victory demonstrates how Alaskans "wholeheartedly support nonpartisanship and working together."

Points in advance

Before rematching with her prior rivals, Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III and Libertarian Chris Bye, for a full congressional term, Peltola completed the remainder of Young's tenure.

Following the compilation of the ranked choice voting in Alaska, Peltola defeated Palin, Begich, and Bye to win the contest for the state's House seat. On Wednesday, the ranked choice election results were made public.

Once the results for second and third place were tallied on Wednesday, Peltola emerged nearly ten points ahead of Palin. In the end, Peltola received 55% of the vote and Palin received 45%.

New voting procedure

The use of ranked choice voting in Alaska was authorised by voters in the 2020 election. For the first time, it is in effect in 2022.

The top four finishers advance in Alaska's open primaries, which are held under the new system. Voters may select one candidate from any party. Voters rank those four candidates in the general election from their first pick to their fourth choice.

The state then tabulates ranked choice results, removing the last-place finisher and redistributing those votes to voters' second choices, if no candidate receives more than 50% of the first choice votes. If there is still no winner after one round of tabulation, the third-place finisher is discarded, and the same vote-shifting procedure is followed.

The Division of Elections intends to certify the results the following week. On January 3, the first day of the new Congress, Peltola will take the oath of office.

Peltola will be in the minority because the House will be led by Republicans. Additionally, she is the first female Congresswoman to represent Alaska since it became a state in 1959.


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