First Alaskan Native elected to Congress as Sarah Palin loses

First Alaskan Native elected to Congress as Sarah Palin loses


Sarah Palin has lost a special congressional election in Alaska, in a district that was Republican-held for nearly five decades.

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The winner, Democrat Mary Peltola, will be the first Alaskan Native to serve as a lawmaker in Congress for the state.

The race was to fill a vacancy left after the former officeholder died. The seat is up for grabs again in November.

Former Alaska governor Ms Palin, 58, rose to prominence as a vice-presidential candidate in 2008.

Ms Peltola, 49, was declared the winner on Wednesday by three percentage points in a state that ex-President Donald Trump took by 10 points in 2020.

The former state lawmaker advocated for abortion access, climate action and the state's salmon populations.

Ms Palin, who was endorsed by Mr Trump, outspent her Democratic rival by four to one in the run-up to the 16 August election, according to Politico.

Ms Peltola ran against two Republicans in the state's first ranked-choice election, a system that was criticised by Ms Palin during the race as confusing and unfair.

The Democrat, who is Yup'ik and grew up in a rural part of Alaska, will also become the first woman to hold the seat.

It had previously been held since 1973 by the late Republican Don Young.

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First Alaskan Native elected to Congress as Sarah Palin loses
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