Alaska is holding primary elections on Tuesday. Polls closed at 8 p.m. local time and 12 a.m. ET. 

 

The races & the stakes

Alaskans are voting in a high-profile US Senate primary and a special general election for the at-large House seat on Tuesday.

The 2022 elections are the first held under Alaska’s brand-new top-four primary voting system, approved in 2020. All candidates from all party affiliations run on the same primary ballot and the top four advance to the general election, which is then held under a ranked-choice voting system. 

The new system is expected to help insulate GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, seeking a third term in office, from being defeated by a primary challenger endorsed by President Donald Trump. Murkowski, who drew Trump’s ire by voting to convict him for inciting the January 6 insurrection, is now facing a Trump-backed primary challenger in Kelly Tshibaka.

Murkowski will face her Trump-backed primary challenger on the same day as GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump and now is investigating his role in the insurrection as the vice-chair of the January 6 Committee. Cheney will run against Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman in Wyoming’s at-large House seat. 

Three of the 10 GOP House members who voted to impeach Trump — Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina, Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan, and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington — have lost reelection to Trump-backed primary challengers. Out of the seven GOP Senators who voted to convict Trump in the Senate, Murkowski is the only one up for reelection in 2022. 

Voters are also voting in a special general election for Alaska’s at-large US House seat, vacated by the death of longtime Rep. Don Young in March. Former governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is attempting a political comeback and vying to win a seat in the House. 

Palin, Republican Nick Begich III, Democrat Mary Peltola, and Independent Al Gross, who subsequently dropped out of the race, advanced out of the June primary to the August general, which will be held with ranked-choice voting. The winner of the special election will serve out the rest of Young’s term through January 2023. 

Those three candidates running in the special election and 19 others are also running in the regular primary election to represent Alaska’s at-large House seat for a full term, which is being held concurrently with the special general election. 

In addition to Congress, GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Dalhstorm are seeking another term in office. But Dunleavy faces two serious primary challengers, state Rep. Christopher Kurka and Charlie Pierce, mayor of the Kenai Borough Penninsula, challenging him from his right, Alaska Public Media reports. 

State legislative primaries: 

 

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