Republican candidate 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, U.S., November 8, 2022.
Kerry Tasker | Reuters
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the only Republican woman ever to be nominated for vice president, has been defeated in her political comeback bid to represent the state in the U.S. House of Representatives, NBC News reported Wednesday night.
Palin’s loss to Republican Mary Peltola, a Democrat, was her second defeat in the Alaskan election for an at-large House seat in less than three months.
The race took weeks to call because the winner was determined by Alaska’s new voting system.
In late August, Peltola defeated Palin and fellow Republican Nick Begich in a special election for the seat. It remained empty the March death of GOP Rep. Don Youngwho held office for nearly half a century.
Peltola, a former state representative, became the first Alaska Native in Congress.
But she immediately faced a rematch against Palin and Begich in the election for a full two-year term.
Peltola finished fourth in June’s nonpartisan primary.
By mid-August, none of the remaining three candidates had received more than 50% of the vote in a special election. The winner was then determined by a ranked-choice voting system approved by state voters two years ago.
After her first loss, Palin was outraged by the ranked-choice system, calling its adoption a “mistake.” But Begich said “the ranked-choice voting showed that a vote for Sarah Palin was actually a vote for Mary Peltola.”
“Palin simply does not have enough support from Alaskans to win the election,” Begich said at the time.
The late Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona tapped Palin to be his running mate in the 2008 presidential race against Democratic nominee and eventual winner Barack Obama and his running mate Joe Biden, himself elected president two years earlier.
Palin resigned as governor of Alaska in July 2009, less than a year after losing the presidential election, saying ethics complaints against her threatened to engulf the state.