Another Republican joins Alaska race to unseat Peltola | ET REALITY


A second Republican has joined the race in Alaska to challenge Rep. Mary S. Peltola, a popular Democrat who holds the state’s only House seat.

Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom, who was elected last year, will face Ms. Peltola, who became the first Alaska Native woman elected to Congress after defeating former Gov. Sarah Palin in two 2022 elections. Peltola’s victory against Palin, in a special election after the death of veteran Alaska congressman Don Young, gave the seat to Democrats for the first time in 50 years.

Her second victory, in the November midterms, dealt a political blow to Palin, once considered a standard-bearer of the national Republican Party.

Ms. Dahlstrom, a former state representative and former commissioner of the state Department of Corrections, is the second Republican to enter the House race, after Nick Begich III. The scion of a prominent liberal political family in Alaska, Begich finished third in previous elections against Peltola.

“Alaska needs a tough, proven fighter,” Dahlstrom said in a statement announcing his candidacy and criticize President Biden. She promised that if she were elected to the House, she would “stop Biden and extreme liberals from ruining our future.”

The Republican campaign arm of the House of Representatives has made this seat a priority objective in 2024. Will Reinert, spokesman for the group, said in a statement on Xformerly known as Twitter, that Ms. Dahlstrom “is a top recruit who will win this Trump-won state.”

Peltola’s election to a full term with 55 percent of the vote last November – after highlighting his bipartisan credentials and local issues during the election campaign – demonstrated his ability to retain the seat despite political headwinds. Alaska has long been a red state and former President Donald J. Trump handily won Alaska in the 2020 election. Young, a Republican who was one of the longest-serving members of the House, won re-election that year with 54 percent of the votes.

But Peltola’s popularity will continue to represent a major obstacle for Republicans, despite his advantages. The race was competitive but leaned towards Ms. Peltola, according to an analysis by the Cook Political Report earlier this year.

Activists and former Republican candidates in the state, including Mrs. PalinThey are also trying to repeal the state’s recently adopted ranked-choice voting system. They argue that the system can allow a Democrat to win even when a majority of voters choose a Republican on the first ballot. Peltola was the most popular choice on the first ballot in his two previous elections, but did not achieve absolute majorities until the second round.

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