Sarah Palin, 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate, announces her candidacy for Congress in Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska — Sarah Palin rocked an already unpredictable race for Alaska’s only seat in the U.S. House on Friday, filing paperwork to join a group of at least 40 candidates seeking to fill the seat it has held for 49 years by the late U.S. Representative. Don Young.

Palin, the former state governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee, joined a crowded group that includes current and former state lawmakers and a North Pole City Council member named Fr. Christmas. The filing deadline was 5 p.m. Friday.

“Public service is a calling, and I would be honored to represent the men and women of Alaska in Congress, just as Rep. Young has done for 49 years,” Palin said in a statement posted to the networks. social. “I realize that I have very big shoes to fill, and I plan to honor Rep. Young’s legacy by volunteering on behalf of the service to the state he loved and for which he s is beaten, because I share this passion for Alaska and the United States of America.”

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Young, a Republican, had held the Alaska House seat since 1973 and was seeking re-election when he died last month at age 88.

A special primary is scheduled for June 11. The top four voters will advance to a special election on August 16 in which preferential choice voting will be used, a process in line with a new electoral system approved by voters in 2020.

The winner will serve the remainder of Young’s term, which expires in January. The state’s Division of Elections is targeting Sept. 2 to certify the special election.

Others who filed Friday included Republican Senator Josh Revak; Democratic State Rep. Adam Wool; independent Al Gross, an orthopedic surgeon who ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate in 2020; and Andrew Halcro, a former Republican state legislator who is running as an independent. They join a group that includes Republican Nick Begich, who had positioned himself as a challenger to Young; Democrat Christopher Constant, Assemblyman from Anchorage; and John Coghill, a former Republican lawmaker.

Revak, who previously worked for Young’s office and was statewide co-chairman for Young’s re-election bid, said he felt a “strong call and a duty” to move forward. before.

He said he was “heartbroken” by the filing schedule, coinciding with a period he said should be focused on remembering Young.

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Young lied in state at the United States Capitol on Tuesday. A public memorial was held in the Washington, DC area on Wednesday and a public memorial is planned in Anchorage on Saturday.

The August special election will coincide with the regular primary. Regular primaries and general elections in November will determine who will represent Alaska in the House for a two-year term beginning in January.

A man who years ago legally changed his name to Santa Claus and serves on the North Pole City Council has also filed an application with the state Division of Elections for the special primary. Claus, who said he has a “strong affinity” for Bernie Sanders, is running as an independent.

He said he was not soliciting or collecting money. He said the new electoral process “gives people like me the opportunity, without having to deal with parties, to throw their hats in the ring.”

“I have name recognition,” he said with a laugh.

About Marie A. Gingrich

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