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Sarah Palin slams Republican opponent after losing special election, refuses to mention winner Mary Peltola

The former Alaska governor also says the state’s election division should “release all data” on the ballots it rejected.

Eric Garcia
Friday 02 September 2022 16:28 BST
Sarah Palin reacts to losing Alaska house race

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin blasted her Republican opponent Nick Begich III for costing Republicans the special election and called on him to withdraw from the race.

“Nick Begich is now a three-time loser,” Ms Palin said in a statement on Thursday. “His ego-driven assistance after repeatedly failing to garner a majority of Republican votes, while I have consistently won the vote, has just cost Republicans a seat in Congress.”

Ms Palin’s statement comes after she lost to Democrat Mary Peltola, who became the first Democrat to win Alaska’s at-large congressional district in almost 50 years.

Alaska uses a ranked-choice voting system, wherein voters list their preferred candidate by preference. If a candidate comes in last place, they are knocked out and their votes go to voters’ second choice. Mr Begich came in third place in the special election and while half of his voters ranked Ms Palin second, a large chunk picked Ms Peltola or didn’t rank anyone second at all.

The state held the special election after Alaska’s longtime representative Don Young died at 88 in March. Ms Palin, who served as governor from 2007 to 2009 and abruptly quit the governorship less than a year after her failed run as John McCain’s running mate, jumped into the race shortly after a special election was announced

“What happened in the Special General Election Ranked Choice Vote is not the will of the people who see what the Biden agenda is doing to America,” Ms Palin’s statement continued. “Instead, it’s the will of a corrupt political establishment and negative Nick played his role perfectly by dividing Republicans with his dirty campaigning.”

Ms Palin faulted Mr Begich for attacking Mr Young even before his death and accused him of being a crypto-Democrat. His grandfather, Nick Begich, had been the Democratic congressman before Mr Young and his uncle Mark was a Democratic Senator.

“If Begich cares about the people of Alaska and the Republican Party to which he professes to belong, then he should accept reality--take the loss like a real Alaskan man--so that Republican voters can coalesce behind their preferred candidate and reclaim Alaska’s only seat in the US House of Representatives,” she wrote.

Mr Begich and Ms Palin engaged in a vicious tit-for-tat throughout the race, with Mr Begich calling her a “quitter” and the family of Ms Palin’s ex-husband Todd Palin even held a campaign party for Mr Begich.

Ms Palin also called on Alaska’s Division of Elections to release all data, specifically citing Dominion Voting Systems--which has become an enemy in right-wing conspiracy circles for stealing the 2020 election from Donald Trump--as well as the reason why it rejected some ballots and the reason why it took so long to have an election.

Mr Begich, for his part, has criticised Ms Palin as unelectable.

“The result is consistent with what pollsters have been telling us for months: Sarah Palin cannot win a statewide race because her unfavorable rating is too high,” he said.

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