Palin, Begich, Gross advance in Alaska U.S. House race

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“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”  Psalms 95:6 (KJV) 

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Republican Nick Begich and independent Al Gross have advanced to the August special election for the state’s only U.S. House seat.

Palin and Begich, both Republicans, and Gross, an orthopedic surgeon, were among 48 candidates in last Saturday’s special primary for the seat, which was left vacant following the death in March of Republican Rep. Don Young. Young had held the seat for 49 years.

The top four vote-getters in the special primary advance to a special election, set for Aug. 16, in which ranked choice voting will be used. The winner of that race will serve the remainder of Young’s term, which ends in January.State elections officials were releasing additional vote counts on Wednesday, the first day since the special primary in which counts were conducted. Additional counts are planned for Friday and for next Tuesday.

With 132,730 votes counted, Palin had 28.3%, followed by Begich with 19.3% and Gross with 12.8%. Democrat Mary Peltola had 8.7% and Republican Tara Sweeney, 5.5%.

The election was unusual in that it was conducted primarily by mail. It also was the first election under a system approved by voters in 2020 that ends party primaries and institutes ranked voting for general elections.

The election went on as scheduled following a tense legal fight over ballot access issues, with the state defending itself against accusations that the manner in which the primarily by-mail election was held discriminated against voters with visual imp…

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