Democratic MP Mary Peltola has won a full two-year term representing Alaska in the House of Representatives, CNNBreakingNews.net predicted Wednesday, defeating former Republican governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Peltola made history in August when she became the first Alaska native in Congress after winning the special election to replace longtime Republican Representative Don Young, who died in March at the age of 88.
Shortly after it was announced that she had won a full term of office on Wednesday evening, Peltola tweeted: “WE DID IT!!!
The results of the election for the state House of Representatives on November 8 — as well as other competitions, including for the Senate — were delayed by weeks due to Alaska’s new electoral system, in which voters rank candidates in order of preference.
After the first round of voting, Peltola Palin led by more than 20 percentage points, with Republican Nick Begich, a scion of one of Alaska’s most famous political families, in third place.
However, since Peltola won no more than 50 percent, the election moved into a second round, in which Begich was eliminated and his votes were redistributed to the second election of these voters.
Begich and Palin also took part in the August special elections, making this competition a three-way rematch.
Peltola’s win is a blow to Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and the Republicans, who won a razor-thin majority in this month’s midterm elections. That means a Democrat will hold the seat in the House of Representatives for the next two years, after Young and the Republicans had controlled it for almost five decades.
Young took over the seat in 1973 after Democratic MP Nick Begich, the grandfather of this year’s candidate of the same name, was presumably killed in a plane crash.
Even before the race was called, Palin, the late broadcaster John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential election, announced that she was the first person to sign a new ballot initiative to repeal Alaska’s electoral system in order of priority.