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As democrats drop out of race, Peltola gains supporters

Lisa Hupp
Mary Peltola of Bethel is the only democrat to advance to the special general election for the U.S. House race.

This story was originally published by The Alaska Beacon.

Three Democrats are withdrawing from Alaska’s U.S. House race, leaving Mary Peltola as the lone Democratic candidate in the contest.

On Thursday, Christopher Constant, Adam Wool and Mike Milligan said they are ending their campaigns for U.S. House. Constant and Milligan said they are endorsing Peltola. Wool said he is making no endorsement at this time.

“There’s some things about Mary that I really appreciate, and I just think she’s going to be the most viable choice as we proceed forward,” Milligan said.

Though vote-counting in Alaska’s special U.S. House primary election will continue through June 21, Peltola is on pace to finish fourth, good enough to compete in the Aug. 16 special general election.

Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III are expected to finish in first and second, followed by independent candidate Al Gross.

The winner of the Aug. 16 special general election — Alaska’s first ranked-choice vote — will represent Alaska in Congress until January, completing the term left unfinished by the death of Congressman Don Young in March.

At the same time, the four candidates in the special election are among dozens of people running for a full term in the U.S. House.

The winner of the November general election will represent Alaska in Congress for two years when the new term begins in January.

Peltola, Constant, Wool and Milligan had all registered as candidates for both the special election and the regular election.

The withdrawal of the other three will leave Peltola as the only registered Democrat in both races.

Al Gross, who won the Democratic endorsement in his 2020 race for U.S. Senate, finished third in the special primary and is running as an independent in both the special election and the regular election.

Despite their history of supporting Gross, Democrats have said they will favor Peltola.

In a prepared statement, Constant said he conceded defeat in the top-four primary on Thursday and called to congratulate her “as the only true progressive candidate who now moves on to the Aug. 16 special election and beyond.”

Emil Notti was the Democratic candidate who lost to Young in the 1973 special election that began Young’s 48-year tenure in Congress.

He ran again in this year’s special election but also conceded to Peltola on Thursday.

“I am giving my endorsement to Mary Peltola because I know she can win. It’s time for all Alaskans to put their support behind Mary and help her become Alaska’s next U.S Representative,” he said in a prepared statement.

James Brooks | Alaska Beacon
Alaska Beacon is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Alaska Beacon maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Andrew Kitchenman for questions: Follow Alaska Beacon on Facebook and Twitter.
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