History Made As Congress’ First Alaskan Native Wins Partial House Term

ANCHORAGE, AK -- Thursday, May 12, 2022: Mary Peltola (Photo by Ash Adams for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Former state lawmaker Democrat Mary Peltola made history Wednesday night, as she won the remainder of the late Rep. Don Young’s (R-AK) term. She’ll be the first Alaskan native to ever serve in Congress. 

Election officials revealed the (still technically unofficial) results of the state’s first ranked-choice election — held on Aug. 16 — after a lengthy delay for the remainder of the mail-in ballots to arrive and be tabulated. 

After the second round of tabulating, Peltola had 51.5 percent of the vote to Sarah Palin’s 48.5.

Palin was attempting a political comeback after a decade out of the fray. Some political analysts had warned that Palin’s mud-slinging fest with fellow Republican Nick Begich would split the Republican vote, making each too radioactive for GOP voters to rank second. Such infighting could only benefit the Democrat.

Peltola will have the chance to serve for longer than the next few months. She’s also in the running for the seat’s next full term, and advanced through the top-four primary earlier this month. That ranked-choice election will take place in November, where she’ll again face Palin and Begich, along with Libertarian Chris Bye. Former Trump aide Tara Sweeney finished fourth in the primary, but subsequently dropped out, opening the spot for Bye.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriter:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: