Sep 6, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Sarah Palin, Nick Begich trade jabs in Alaska House race

House of Representatives candidate Sarah Palin speaks on stage.
House of Representatives candidate Sarah Palin speaks on stage. Photo: Patrick Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Alaska Republican House candidates Sarah Palin and Nick Begich have both refused to drop out of the upcoming general election race, setting up another clash with Democrat Mary Peltola this fall.

Why it matters: Both Palin and Begich lost the special election to replace the late Republican Rep. Don Young, who passed away this past spring after 49 years in office, to Peltola, who will serve out the remainder of Young's term.

  • The deadline for candidates to withdraw for the November general election passed on Monday, per the Associated Press.

State of play: Peltola will be sworn in on Sept. 13 to serve the remainder of Young's tenure, which will be up for grabs in the general election in November.

  • During the August primary, Palin, Begich and Peltola advanced to the November general election to decide who will serve for the full two-year term, Axios' Erin Doherty writes.
  • Independent Chris Bye will also be on the ballot, per CBS News.

What they're saying: Both Palin and Begich have been throwing jabs at each other since the Aug. 16 ranked-choice special election came to a close. But neither candidate has withdrawn their candidacy.

  • “Sarah Palin is going to lose again if she stays in this race,” Begich said at the recent Alaska state fair, per KTUU. “At the end of the day, Alaskans know who Sarah Palin is and they’re not going to vote for her.”
  • Begich also said Monday his campaign is “confident that we are on a positive trajectory to win in November.”
  • “Ranked choice voting showed that Palin simply doesn’t have enough support from Alaskans to win an election and her performance in the special [election] was embarrassing as a former governor and vice presidential candidate," he said, according to AP.

But Palin said splitting the Republican vote will lead to another Peltola victory, and urged Begich to leave the race, CBS News reports.

  • “He keeps calling me a quitter,” Palin told reporters Monday in reference to her time as governor, per AP. “And now he wants me, the one who is clearly the only true conservative in this race who can win, he wants me to quit! Now that’s the real joke. Sorry, Nick. I never retreat, I reload.”

By the numbers: The ranked-choice voting ended with Begich eliminated first. Of those who chose Begich, 64% ranked Palin as a second candidate, AP reports.

Go deeper: Democrat Mary Peltola defeats Sarah Palin in Alaska special election

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