Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin appeared to take one step forward in her political comeback Saturday with the latest results showing her atop the many candidates in the primary election for the House seat formerly held by Republican Don Young, who died in March.
Under Alaska’s rules, the top four finishers in Saturday’s voting advance to an August special election to fill the remainder of Young’s term, which ends in January.
Palin, a Republican who was the vice-presidential candidate in 2008 when the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona lost to former President Barack Obama, is endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
“She did a phenomenal job and really became a MAGA warrior. And to this day, that’s what she is,” Trump said during a June 2 tele-rally, according to Alaska Public Media.
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) June 7, 2022
Figures released by Alaska officials Saturday total 108,981 ballots cast. It was not clear if this was a full count of all ballots received.
Palin received 32,371 votes, or 29.77 percent, of the total to lead the contest.
Can Sarah Palin help fix what is wrong with Washington?
Yes: 96% (403 Votes)
No: 4% (18 Votes)
Fellow Republican Nick Begich had 20,994 votes to rank second at 19.31 percent. Al Gross, an independent, was third at 13,563 votes, which amounted to 12.47 of the votes cast. Democratic state legislator Mary Peltola received 8,101 votes, or 7.45 percent of the votes cast.
“Thank you, Alaska,” Palin tweeted Sunday.
“I’m looking forward to the special general election so we can highlight our ideas for fixing this country by responsibly developing Alaska’s God-given natural resources, getting runaway government spending under control, protecting human life, protecting the right to keep and bear arms, and restoring respect for individual liberty and the Constitution.”
Thank you Alaska! ❤️🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/wlMSaOneqS
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) June 12, 2022
Palin had focused on the high cost of gas in her campaign.
“My F-150 — One hundred and fifty bucks, out there in Wasilla, to fuel it up, that F-150. And it’s not even on a souped-up model, either,” she said, according to Alaska Public Media. “I know you guys, too, you see that every time you fuel up.”
On Saturday, Alaska’s Supreme Court reversed a lower court order that had held up certification of the vote totals for the primary until visually impaired voters were given a “full and fair” opportunity to participate, according to the Associated Press.
The election was a scramble with 48 candidates on the ballot, Just the News reported.
Palin is also on the ballot in the Aug. 16 primary that will winnow down the list of candidates who are filing to win a full two-year term for the seat Young held for 49 years, as noted by Alaska Public Media.
The special election primary Palin led included a candidate legally named Santa Claus, who offered a unique reason for voters to support him.
“[S]hould the voters put me in [Congress],…. I’d be in there over the holiday season,” he said. “And I think a lot of children will get kind of a kick out of it.”
However, he only received 4,864 votes according to the official results, well shy of what was needed to advance.