Now then: Alaska’s special election to replace the late Rep. Don Young is getting crowded, and there was one late entry into the race that is making some eyebrows rise: Sarah Palin. Excerpt:
Just one day ahead of what is expected to be a massive memorial service at Anchorage Baptist Temple to honor the late Rep. Don Young — who died earlier this month after 49 years of serving as Alaska’s only representative in the U.S. House — dozens of people filed for office to fill his seat.
It’s expected to be a wild ride with a crowded field. By Friday evening, more than 50 people had filed to run to fill Young’s seat.
Some well-known names on the list include Nick Begich III (R), former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), John Coghill (R), Republican Sen. Josh Revak, and Jeff Lowenfels (nonpartisan). Other big-name contenders include Chris Constant (D), and Independent Al Gross, a former orthopedic surgeon who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2020.
Palin announced her decision to enter the race on Friday afternoon on her Facebook page, filing paperwork with the Alaska Division of Elections shortly before the deadline.
In the post, Palin said she plans to “honor” Young’s legacy by adding her name to the race “in the name of service to the state he loved and fought for, because I share that passion for Alaska and the United States of America.”
This is going to be interesting. Here’s how this special election will work:
The first special election takes place on June 11, a primary. Every candidate’s name will be listed. Voters cast their ballot for one person and the top four candidates move on to the special general election on Aug. 16.
The special primary will be held as vote-by-mail only and will determine the top four names that will be listed in the special general election, which will be a ranked-choice ballot, the first in Alaska.
I’m still skeptical of the whole “ranked-choice” thing, but it was put on the ballot, and the people of Alaska voted for it. If it turns out to be, as an old Brit friend of mine would put it, a complete dog’s breakfast, I suppose we can vote to get rid of it as well.
Many of these candidates, of course, will end up being also-rans. If I had to guess as to who will move on to the general, right now I’d probably hazard a guess that it will be Nick Begitch, Sarah Palin and Al Gross – I’m not certain about the fourth. But we still have a ways to go, and there will probably be plenty of advertising and speechifying before the primary.
And the time when Mrs. Palin swung a big political stick in Alaska has been past for a while. So I wouldn’t be too shocked if she doesn’t make the cut.