The races & the stakes
Democrat Mary Peltola won the US House special election for Alaska's at-large US House seat, vacated by the death of longtime Rep. Don Young in March.
Peltola's win makes her the first-ever woman to represent Alaska in the US House, the first Alaska Native person to serve in Congress, and the first Democrat to represent Alaska in the House since 1972.
Peltola, Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III, and Independent Al Gross, who subsequently dropped out of the race, advanced out of the June primary to the August general, which was held with ranked-choice voting. Peltola will serve out the rest of Young's term through January 2023.
Palin, a former governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, attempted a political comeback and vied to win a seat in the House.
Palin, Peltola, Begich, and Republican Tara Sweeney also advanced to the regular primary election to represent Alaska's at-large House seat for a full term, which was held concurrently with the special general election.
The 2022 elections are the first held under Alaska's brand-new top-four primary voting system, approved in 2020. All candidates from all party affiliations run on the same primary ballot and the top four advance to the general election, which is then held under a ranked-choice voting system.
The new system was expected to help insulate GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, seeking a third term in office, from being defeated by a primary challenger endorsed by President Donald Trump. Murkowski, who drew Trump's ire by voting to convict him for inciting the January 6 insurrection, is now facing a Trump-backed primary challenger in Kelly Tshibaka.
Murkowski, Tshibaka, and Democrat Patricia Chesbro had advanced out of the primary and onto the general.
Murkowski faced her Trump-backed primary challenger on the same day as GOP Rep. Liz Cheney lost to Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman in Wyoming's at-large House seat. Cheney voted to impeach Trump and now is investigating his role in the insurrection as the vice-chair of the January 6 Committee.
Four of the 10 GOP House members who voted to impeach Trump — Cheney, Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina, Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan, and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington — have lost reelection to Trump-backed primary challengers. Out of the seven GOP Senators who voted to convict Trump in the Senate, Murkowski is the only one up for reelection in 2022.
In addition to Congress, GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Dalhstorm are seeking another term in office. But Dunleavy faces two serious primary challengers, state Rep. Christopher Kurka and Charlie Pierce, mayor of the Kenai Borough Penninsula, challenging him from his right, Alaska Public Media reports.