Former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska leads the 48-candidate field in a special primary election for the state’s sole congressional seat, in response to a preliminary count of ballots on Sunday.
The highest 4 candidates within the race will advance to the special election in August. Ms. Palin has nearly 30 percent of the vote tallied to date; Nick Begich, the scion of an Alaskan political dynasty, has 19.3 percent; Al Gross, a surgeon and industrial fisherman who ran for Senate two years ago, has nearly 12.5 percent; and Mary S. Peltola, a former state legislator, has about 7.5 percent.
Ms. Palin and Mr. Begich are Republicans, Mr. Gross will not be affiliated with a celebration, and Ms. Peltola is a Democrat.
The special election was prompted by the death in March of Representative Don Young, a Republican who was first elected to the House in 1973. The election is to fill the rest of Mr. Young’s current term.
The special election shall be held on Aug. 16, which can also be the day of Alaska’s primary contest for the House seat’s 2023-2025 term. So, voters will see some candidates’ names twice on one ballot: once to make your mind up the consequence of the special election and once to select candidates for the autumn’s general election for the complete two-year term.
For Ms. Palin, the race is a political comeback. As Senator John McCain’s running mate within the 2008 presidential race, Ms. Palin lost to a Democratic ticket that included Joseph R. Biden Jr., and he or she resigned from the governor’s office, looking for to parlay her newfound profile into work as a well-paid political pundit. Ms. Palin had tapped into the same anti-establishment, anti-news media vein of the Republican Party that later galvanized Donald J. Trump’s unexpected rise to the White House in 2016.
The outcomes announced on Sunday are preliminary and will change over the following few weeks, as more ballots are processed and counted.
Alaska is a thinly populated state, with two U.S. senators but just one representative within the House. That small population is spread across an area that is larger than Texas, California and Montana combined, with about 82 percent of communities within the state inaccessible by roads.
Counting ballots there may be difficult.
Each voter within the state was mailed a ballot, starting on April 27, and the ballots were due back on Saturday. At the least three more rounds of preliminary results shall be announced by state officials before the outcomes are certified in about two weeks.
Alyce McFadden contributed reporting.