Alaska Rep.-elect ‘optimistic’ about November following historic special election

Peltola also addressed her relationship with Republican rival and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who reportedly complimented Peltola as “a real Alaskan chick” following Peltola’s win. Peltola will face both Palin and Republican Nick Begich III again in the fall.

“I do expect attacks [approaching the November election], and I got my fair share of attacks here in this special election, but I do feel a sense of camaraderie and fraternity with the other people who are running,” Peltola said.

Under the new system, voters rank their choices in order of preference, rather than just picking one. If no candidate receives a majority of first-place votes, the remaining ballots are reallocated from the lowest-performing finishers to second or third choices until one hopeful secures more than half the vote.

The Cook Political Report last week updated the race from “likely Republican” to “toss-up,” indicating the Alaska Democrat may have shed her underdog status for the fall.

Peltola is the first Alaskan elected to Congress who was born in the state itself. She’s also the first Democrat elected to the House from Alaska since 1970, and only the second Democrat elected to either the House or U.S. Senate in the last 40 years.

Madison Fernandez contributed to this report.

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