At a candidate forum for the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce on Monday, a question was posed by the moderator: Who would be your second choice on the ranked-choice ballot?
Neither Sarah Palin or Mary Peltola would answer the question and moderator Julie Hasquet was willing to let the candidates skate on it altogether.
But then, congressional candidate Nick Begich grabbed the microphone and said he will vote for Sarah Palin second on the ranked-choice ballot. Presumably that means he’s voting for himself first, then Palin.
On the Aug. 16 ballot, the Republican candidates for the interim seat in Congress are Begich and Palin; Peltola is endorsed by the Alaska Democratic Party, while Begich is endorsed by the Alaska Republican Party and 60 Republican elected leaders around the state; Palin is endorsed by Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ted Nugent.
Republicans have been advised by some party leaders to “rank the red” on the general election ballot; in other words, they should remember to rank the Republicans first, second, and third (if there is a third Republican.)
On the lightning-round question about the Pebble Mine, Palin was a thumb up, Begich was thumb sideways (he said it was to represent the need for seeing a responsible development plan), and Peltola showed her thumb down.
Surprisingly, Tara Sweeney attended the forum and sat in the back of the room at the Dena’ina Center. With getting less than 6% of the special primary election vote, she did not make the cut for the special general election ballot for Congress but will be on the regular primary ballot for the seat and intends to be a come-back candidate.
On Sunday, the three special general election candidates were at a forum with the Alaska Black Caucus. When asked if they support teaching Critical Race Theory in schools, Peltola said yes, Begich said no, and Palin said that it’s not clear what Critical Race Theory is.
On another question, Palin said she would not know how she would vote on the Democrats’ HR 1 bill, as she was unfamiliar with the bill. HR 1, offered by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, would federalize election law and take power away from states to run their own elections. Begich was a no on HR 1, and Peltola was a yes.