Republican nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives Sarah Palin speaks to reporters near the corner of Seward Highway and Northern Lights Boulevard on U.S. election night in Anchorage, Alaska, the United States, November 8, 2022.
Kerry Tasker | Reuters
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the only Republican woman ever nominated for vice president, was defeated in her political comeback bid to represent the state in the US House of Representatives, NBC News projected Wednesday night.
Palin’s loss to Rep. Mary Peltola, a Democrat, was her second loss in an Alaskan state election in less than three months.
It took weeks for the race to be called as the winner was determined by Alaska’s new ranked voting system.
In late August, Peltola beat Palin and another Republican, Nick Begich, in a special ballot for the seat. It was left vacant by the death in March of GOP Rep. Don Young, who had held office for nearly half a century.
Peltola, a former state representative, became the first Alaska Native to serve in Congress.
But she immediately faced a rematch against Palin and Begich when elected to a full two-year term.
Peltola finished fourth in a nonpartisan primary in June.
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In mid-August, none of the remaining three candidates received more than 50% of the vote in the special election. The winner was then determined by a ranked voting system approved by state voters two years earlier.
Palin complained about the ranking system after their first loss, calling its introduction a “mistake”. But Begich said, “The election has shown that a vote for Sarah Palin is actually a vote for Mary Peltola.”
“Palin just doesn’t have enough support from Alaskans to win an election,” Begich said at the time.
The late Arizona Republican Senator John McCain selected Palin as his running mate in his 2008 presidential race against Democratic nominee and eventual winner Barack Obama and running mate Joe Biden, himself elected president two years ago.
Palin resigned as governor of Alaska in July 2009, less than a year after losing the presidential election.