Won Special Election in Alaska - Passes Two Milestones for the State in Congress

Mary Peltola is Alaska's new voice in the House of Representatives (Photo: Mary Peltola for Congress).

The Democrat Mary Peltola will be Alaska's first native member of Congress and the first woman to fill the state's only seat in the House of Representatives. This comes after she beat Republican Sarah Palin in an extraordinary election.

Mary Peltola from the Democratic Party has won the special election in Alaska to fill the remainder of the term of Congressman Don Young, who died this winter. That is reported by Alaska Public Media.

Young, a Republican, held Alaska's only seat in the House of Representatives for 49 years. Now, for the first time in history, the position will be filled by a person who belongs to the state's native people - and is a woman. Considering Congress as a whole, she will be Alaska's first representative with a native background.

"I will have that distinction. But I think what’s most important is that I’m Alaskan and being sent to represent all Alaskans," says Peltola, who is Yup'ik and a former member of the Alaskan state legislature.

Won over Palin

Peltola surpassed the opponent Sarah Palin from the Republican Party with 3 percentage points, putting an end to her attempt at a political comeback this time around. Palin is the former Governor of Alaska (2006-2009) and John McCain's vice president candidate in the 2008 election.

The election result will be formally approved today, Friday. Petola will most likely take office in the middle of September when the summer vacation is over for the House of Representatives.

Petola will be in office until at least January when the original election period ends. In the meantime, she will, in competition with Palin and the Republican Nick Begich, campaign to win the next ordinary election which will be held in November.

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This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by Birgitte Annie Molid Martinussen.