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Sarah Palin is among three candidates who are advancing to Alaska’s special election in August to fill the U.S. House seat left open after the death of Rep. Don Young.
Young, a Republican, held the seat for 49 years before he died in March at 88 years old.
Alaska’s novel, mainly vote-by-mail election was held Saturday and included candidates of all parties for the state’s only House seat.
Palin was among nearly 50 candidates and enjoyed huge name recognition over many of the others.
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With 132,730 votes counted, Palin had 28.3%, followed by Republican Nick Begich with 19.3% and independent Al Gross with 12.8%. Democrat Mary Peltola had 8.7% and Republican Tara Sweeney, 5.5%.
The top four will advance to the special election, which will include a ranked-choice system approved by voters in 2020.
The winner will serve until January, the end of Young’s term.
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The certification of Saturday’s results had been in doubt last weekend over a legal challenge that claimed the mail ballots discriminated against visually impaired voters, but the state’s high court ruled the certification could go ahead.
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Palin, who was endorsed by former President Trump, was the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate on late Sen. John McCain’s ticket and served as Alaska’s governor from 2006 until she resigned in 2009.
Gross claimed Palin had “quit on Alaska” in favor of “cheap fame” but Palin said she left office because of an onslaught of records requests and ethics complaints she said were frivolous and had become distractions.
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“I’m looking forward to the special general election so we can highlight our ideas for fixing our 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,” Palin wrote in a statement posted to Twitter last weekend when she was ahead in the votes.
Begich comes from a prominent Democratic family in Alaska.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.