Democrat Mary Peltola will represent Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat, after winning a special election that was determined by a ranked-choice voting tabulation on Wednesday.
In the final round of the count, Peltola, a former state lawmaker, edged Sarah Palin, a former Alaska governor and the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, by 3 percentage points, 51.5% to 48.5% and became the first Alaska native in congress.
Peltola’s victory denies the controversial Palin, an ally of former President Donald Trump, an immediate return back onto the national political scene. Though Palin had sharp words for her fellow Republican Begich, she refrained from attacking Peltola during the campaign, calling her a sweetheart. Peltola also did not badmouth Palin, telling NPR, “The region where I’m from, there is a big premium on being respectful, on not using inflammatory language or harsh tones.”