Murkowski and Palin Both Advance in Alaska Primary and Special Election

Senator Lisa Murkowski, 65, and Sarah Palin, 58, both advanced to the November ticket in Alaska, along with some Democratic rivals.

Alaska has a top-4 primary threshold as part of the state’s ranked-choice voting system, which was adopted through a ballot measure in 2020. The top four vote-getters in a primary race, regardless of party affiliation, are to advance to the general election.

Both Murkowski and the Trump- and Alaska GOP-backed Kelly Tshibaka advanced in the Senate race, with Murkowski showing a 3 percentage point lead.

Murkowski is depending on a coalition of moderate Republicans, Democrats and independents that has helped keep her in office for three terms. 

Sarah Palin also advanced in the special election primary to replace the vacant seat left by the death of House Rep. Don Young.

Republican Nick Begich and Democrat Mary Sattler Peltola will also appear on the fall ballot, with the fourth contender too close to call.

Mary Peltola is a former state lawmaker who is Yup’ik and would become the first Alaska Native in Congress if elected. More than 15 percent of Alaska’s population identifies as Indigenous.

Peltola, 48, took 37.8 percent of the vote in the special election to fill Alaska’s lone congressional seat through January, putting her more than five percentage points ahead of Palin.

Peltola was also leading Palin by nearly four percentage votes in the primary race to fill that seat beyond 2023.