Indigenous candidate Mary Peltola frustrates former governor’s aspirations, who received strong support from Trump
Democrat Mary Peltola broke a half-century of Alaskan tradition by winning the seat in the House of Representatives held by Republicans since 1972. The victory is short-lived, as Indigenous politics will occupy only the remaining months of 2022 to fill the vacancy in the Capitol by Don Young, the veteran conservative leader who died last March at age 88. But it has been enough to remove the political pillars of the state and attract the attention of the national leaders of the two major American parties.
Within its volatility, the win is very important for a triple reason. The first is the failure of Peltola’s rival in this special election, former Governor Sarah Palin, who thus finds her intended return to the forefront of politics frustrated. The second is another failure. of carambola. That of Palin’s sponsor, Donald Trump, who has so far served as life insurance policy for his candidates in the Republican primary. His sponsored children have rarely lost a voice.
However, Alaska is not a right-wing convention. While traditionally conservative, this is not about choosing between two members of the same party. And the change of sign towards Democrats seems to materialize the sense of public rejection that weighs on some of the latest Republican decisions; among them the deep discomfort of part of American society (including a conservative sector of fathers and mothers) over the ban on the right to abortion. Perhaps the historic loss of the seat is also influenced by a growing caution about the former president’s latest outrages. “Affairs” like the secret government documents found in his Florida mansion meet the most abrupt conservatism, but not the moderate.
This argument ties in with the third reason why these elections were special. The Democrats needed to get a clear idea of the tailwind; that is, a trend that will flatten and reassure them towards the midterm elections in November and even the presidential election in 2024. And in Alaska, they seem to be seeing it.
The elections to win the seat of Don Young were held on August 16, although the Alaska Division of Elections has now made them public. This call has also served as a primaries of sorts for Democrats and Republicans ahead of the November House and Senate elections (the mid-term calls). Peltola and Palin will then meet again to compete for the Alaska seat in the next legislature.
Mary Peltola will represent these last months of the year in the largest area of the United States. As a native, she will be the first Native Alaskan descendant to serve in the United States Congress. However, this Thursday he made it clear that he will work “for all citizens” of the area, without distinction between ethnic groups. After his victory, in the memory of Democrats today is Nick Begich, the last member of the party to triumph on this earth, even if it was in a symbolic way. Begich died in October 1972. His plane fell into the icy waters of the gulf and was never found. He could not be officially declared dead until the end of December, forcing him to maintain his candidacy in the elections of the previous month, November, where the citizens gave him posthumous victory.
49 years old, married for the third time and with four children, the new congressman has benefited in part from the state’s special voting system: a ballot where voters mark their candidates in order of preference and an automatic double-round mechanism in which only the first two candidates have entry if no one gets more than 50% of the votes in the first round. Peltola initially gained 40% support compared to 31% for Palin. And in the second round, it was over 50% because many Republicans who voted for businessman Nick Begich III — the third candidate, eliminated in the first round — designated the Democrat as the second option, ahead of the former governor. This factor does not go unnoticed by Democratic advisers and prevents an immediate transfer of the result in the State to a hypothetical national scenario.
None of this solves Sarah Palin’s defeat, possibly even more excruciating because the fact that a large number of conservatives chose Peltola over her shows her lack of sympathy among voters. The portrait is completely different from that of 2006, when she took a historic victory in the state elections and became the youngest governor in Alaska history at age 42. In 2008, he tried his luck in the US presidential election by appearing as John McCain’s ‘number two’.
The tandem’s resounding defeat to the binomial Barack Obama-Joe Biden hastened the departure of the governor in 2009, who has since devoted himself primarily to private life, television and public appearances in support of Trump. The former president has returned some of the favor in this latest campaign by moving to Anchorage and giving him his support in a public act.
Mary Peltola, on the other hand, has won on her own, thanks to a campaign based on the state’s internal affairs, such as fisheries, the development of the economy and the coexistence of identity. No national Democratic leader traveled to Alaska to boost his electoral race, which has made his victory even more striking for the party leadership and especially the White House.
Source: La Verdad