Alaska House elections: First native in Congress, Democrat Mary Peltola defeats Sarah Palin, wins full term

Securing her term in Congress, the Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola won the Alaska Hosue elections on Wednesday (Nov 24).

This is Peltola’s second win in a row. The 49-year-old Democrat leader won Alaska’s special House election, defeating many Republican leaders including the former governor of the state and once a vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III. 

According to the Alaska Division of Election Peltola, secured 136,893 votes or 54,9 per cent of the votes, while Palin secured 112,255 or 45.1 per cent of votes. Begich on the other hand was ousted in the second round after securing 64,392 votes, the New York Times reported

Her opponent, Palin once the state governor quit politics in 2009 after an unsuccessful vice presidential bid 2009. She was the mayor of Alaska’s Wasilla. 

However, she announced her return in a statement released in August, saying, ” Public service is a calling, and I would be honoured to represent the men and women of Alaska in Congress, just as Rep. Young did for 49 years. I realize that I have very big shoes to fill, and I plan to honour Rep. Young’s legacy by offering myself up in the name of service to the state he loved and fought for, because I share that passion for Alaska and the United States of America,” People reported. 

Peltola successfully managed to defend her new seat in a re-runoff which happened in August, securing her position, and making her the first Alaska Native to be elected to Congress. 

With her victory in August, the Democratic leader was able to serve the remaining term of Dong Young, a Republican rep. who passed away in march of this year. Young has been serving as the state governor since 1973. However, on August 16, Petola’s win this year made her the first Democrat ever to win the position in 50 years and also being the first woman and first Native Alaskan ever elected to the position.

(With inputs from agencies)

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