Sarah Palin (yes, that one) has awoken her political career from a deep hibernation and cleared a hurdle in Alaska’s complicated primary system to make it onto the general election ballot in November.
The process was unusually confusing. Palin was on the primary ballot for two different races to fill the same congressional seat: one to replace the late Rep. Don Young immediately until January, and the other to win his seat in November for the next two-year term. Young was Alaska’s longtime only congressman until he lost consciousness while on a flight to Seattle and died on March 18, triggering a special election. We still don’t know who will replace Young for now, but Palin will at least have a shot at being in Congress next term. What year is it?
To add more confusion: Alaska used an open primary system, meaning Democrats and Republicans are on one ranked-choice ballot. Palin was up against 21 Republicans, Democrats, undeclared, and nonpartisan competitors. The four candidates who got the highest number of votes—Palin, Republican Nick Begich, Democrat Mary Sattler Peltola, and Republican Tara Sweeney—advance to the ranked-choice general election ballot in November.
Palin—who was backed by fellow demagogue Donald Trump, of course—entered the race weeks after Young’s death. “Public service is a calling, and I would be honored to represent the men and women of Alaska in Congress, just as Rep. Young did for 49 years. I realize that I have very big shoes to fill,” she said in a statement when she announced her candidacy on April fucking Fools.
While we await more results, I have to include the funniest part of this primary: Not even Alaskans who spend regular time with Palin will vote for her. Palin’s former in-laws hosted an event for a Republican rival on Monday night. Her ex-mother-in-law, Faye Palin, told one reporter that she doesn’t not like the former governor, but she’s picking Begich because she “only has one vote.”