Democrat Mary Peltola tops Sarah Palin to win U.S. House special election in Alaska

Mary Peltola, a Democrat, speaks during a forum for U.S. House candidates on May 12 in Anchorage, Alaska. (Mark Thiessen/AP)

Mark Thiessen / Mark Thiessen

Democrat Mary Peltola will represent Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat, after winning a special election that was determined by a ranked-choice voting tabulation on Wednesday.

In the final round of the count, Peltola, a former state lawmaker, edged Sarah Palin, a former Alaska governor and the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, by 3 percentage points.

This is how the candidates finished after initial voting:

Peltola’s victory denies the controversial Palin, an ally of former President Donald Trump, an immediate return back onto the national political scene.

The special election in Alaska was held earlier this month but it took until Wednesday to tabulate all the mail-in votes and calculate the winner with the state’s new ranked-choice voting system.

The special election was to replace Rep. Don Young, who died earlier this year. Peltola will complete the term — and become the first Alaska Native in Congress — and then she, Palin and Republican Nick Begich, who finished third in the special election, will face off again in November for the next two-year term.

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