Peltola’s lead widens in U.S. House race with another batch of first-place votes counted

A woman with a red and blue jacket on drinking coffee
U.S. House candidate Mary Peltola discusses new ideas with her campaign team on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. (Alaska Public Media/Matt Faubion)

Democrat Mary Peltola is slowly widening her lead over Republican Sarah Palin in the special election for U.S. House as new vote totals are released. 

The Division of Elections released an update late Friday with an additional 12,400 votes counted since Tuesday. Peltola increased her lead from 7.5% to more than 8.5%. She now holds 39.6% of the vote. Palin has 31% and Republican Nick Begich follows with 27.8%.

The additional votes counted include early, absentee and questioned ballots from multiple districts. 

In this ranked choice election, the candidate with the least first-place votes will be eliminated first. Their ballots will be redistributed according to the voter’s second choice. The division won’t begin ranking candidates until Aug. 31, the deadline for mail-in ballots to arrive. 

The winner of this election will serve the remainder of the late Congressman Don Young’s term until January.

This story has been updated.

Read more elections news at

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Kavitha George is Alaska Public Media’s climate change reporter. Reach her at Read more about Kavithahere.

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