Democrat Mary Peltola tops Sarah Palin to win U.S. House special election in Alaska.

Democrat Mary Peltola will represent Alaska’s lone US House seat after winning a special election determined by rank-choice voting tables on Wednesday. She would become the first Alaska Native in Congress.

In the final round of counting, Peltola, a former state legislator, was trailing 51.5% to 48.5%, 51.5% to 3 percentage points behind former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Peltola’s victory sparked the immediate return of the controversial Palin, a former President Donald Trump ally, on the national political scene.

The special election in Alaska took place earlier this month, but it took until Wednesday to tabulate all mail-in votes and calculate the winner with the state’s new ranked-choice voting system.

Republican Nick Begich finished third in the election so voters who had taken him as their first choice or who had written in another candidate had their ballots reallocated to the candidate who was their second choice.

The exceptional political decision was to supplant Representative Don Young, who passed on recently at 88 years old.  Peltola will complete the term and then she Palin and Begich will face each other for another two-year term in November.

Peltola and Palin served together as state officials.

Although Palin had bitter words for Begich her fellow Republican, she refrained from attacking Peltola during the campaign calling her dear.

Peltola did not defame Palin telling NPR that the field I’m from has a huge premium for not using inflammatory language or a harsh tone while being respectful.

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