LIVE RESULTS: 3 candidates advance to the top 4 in a House special election in Alaska

LIVE RESULTS: 3 candidates advance to the top 4 in a House special election in Alaska
Sarah Palin, a Republican seeking the sole US House seat in Alaska, addresses supporters Thursday, June 2, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska.Mark Thiessen/AP

Alaska is holding a 48-candidate special primary to fill the state's at-large US House seat left vacant after Rep. Don Young died. Young, a Republican, held the seat for 48 years until his death in March.


Three candidates — the Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III and a nonpartisan candidate, Al Gross — will advance forward to the general election, Insider and Decision Desk HQ project.

The race & the candidates:

Alaska's 48-candidate special election is the first one held under Alaska's new top-four primary system, which voters approved in 2020. Under the new system, candidates from all parties run on the same primary ballot. And the top four — regardless of party — will advance to a special general election on August 16 that will be held with ranked-choice voting.

The winner of the special election will serve out the remainder of Young's term until January 2023.

Young, a fierce advocate for Alaska, spent his nearly five decades representing the state in Congress directing federal money back home and becoming a master of the congressional earmarks process, allowing him to allocate millions for infrastructure and other key projects in Alaska.


The top Republican candidates are Palin, the former governor and 2008 GOP vice-presidential nominee; Begich, who is backed by the state Republican Party; state Sen. Josh Revak, who has the endorsement of Young's widow; and Tara Sweeney, a former Interior Department assistant secretary.

Young's towering legacy in the state will be on the ballot, especially on the Republican side given that Begich, Sweeney, and Revak were all mentored by him during his 50-year career in Alaska politics, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Begich, a wealthy software developer and son of former Sen. Mark Begich, announced he would challenge Young before Young's death, and he's spent $650,000 of his own money on his campaign so far.

Sweeney has been the largest beneficiary of outside spending in the race, with the T.A.R.A for Alaska Super PAC, heavily funded by Alaska Native business interests in the state, having spent more than $400,000 to support her candidacy. If elected, Sweeney would be the first Alaska Native person to serve in Congress.

Al Gross, a physician and nonpartisan candidate who unsuccessfully ran for Senate against GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan in 2020, is the leader in fundraising and outside spending among non-Republican candidates.


The Democrats running for the seat include state lawmaker Mary Peltola, who would also be the first Alaska Native person elected to Congress, the Anchorage-based Assemblyman Chris Constant, and the Fairbanks-based Assemblyman Adam Wool.

And a progressive North Pole councilman named Santa Claus, who is running as an undeclared candidate, could have a leg up in name recognition.

The last day to vote in the special primary is June 11, and officials planned to certify the race by June 25. But an 11th-hour court ruling could throw a wrench in their plans, with a superior court judge ruling on June 10 — the night before ballots were due — that officials could not certify the election until visually impaired voters were given "a full and fair opportunity to cast their votes independently, secretly and privately."

The state is appealing up to the state supreme court, according to the Associated Press, arguing that the ruling "creates enormous confusion and prejudice to the voters."