Palin leads the race for cash in Alaska US House election

a woman in sunglasses
Former Gov. Sarah Palin at the memorial for Rep. Don Young. She told reporters that Don Young’s legacy had inspired her to run for his vacant seat. (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has raised more than $600,000 for her campaign to represent Alaska in Congress.

That puts her ahead of the field in terms of contributions raised from others, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission.

Two of every three dollars she’s raised have come from small donations, below the $200 threshold that requires campaigns to disclose who gave them. That is not surprising, since Palin is well known outside of Alaska and her online fundraising has national reach.

Palin also got donations from national Republican figures. Among her contributors are political action committees associated with Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.,, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky.

But only one of the 48 candidates in Alaska’s special election for U.S. House is running a $1 million campaign so far, and it’s not Palin.

Republican Nick Begich has raised $1.2 million, with about half of it from his own pocket.

The special election is to decide who will serve the remainder of the late Congressman Don Young’s term. This round of campaign finance reports provides the first opportunity to compare the fundraising power of the rival candidates in the crowded race. 

Other candidates with reports on file with the FEC include:

• Al Gross (nonpartisan): $546,000. Includes $15,000 from a political action committee he established when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2020.

• Tara Sweeney (R): $230,000, with many contributions from Alaska Native corporation executives.

• Chris Constant (D): $151,000. Constant, like Begich, entered the race to challenge Rep. Young. His total includes receipts from the first quarter of the year – before most candidates had filed to run.

• Jeff Lowenfels (nonpartisan): $147,000. Much of this amount, $100,000, is a loan from the candidate.

• Josh Revak(R): $110,000

• Mary Peltola(D): $82,000

The special primary is June 11. Some 84,000 Alaskans have already mailed in their ballots.

RELATED: In-person voting is underway in Alaska’s special primary election. Here’s what to know.

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Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at lruskin@alaskapublic.org.