Both Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola won reelection in Alaska by defeating Trump-backed opponents.
In the ranked-choice election on November 8, Murkowski defeated GOP candidate Kelly Tshibaka, who received former President Trump’s support. Election officials tallied the ranking results and revealed the results on Wednesday because neither candidate had received more than 50% of the first-choice votes. Murkowski received the majority of the votes cast for Democrat Pat Chesbro, who was disqualified from the final tally and ultimately won with 54% of the vote.
Republican Buzz Kelley had also entered the contest, but he withdrew after the primary in August and supported Tshibaka instead.
After winning a special election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of longtime Republican Rep. Don Young earlier this year, Democrat Peltola was chosen to serve a full term in Alaska’s lone U.S. House campaign.
Republican candidates Sarah Palin, Nick Begich, and Chris Bye were beaten by Peltola. She had also fallen short of Begich and Palin in the special election.
By winning in August, Peltola—a Yup’ik—became both the first Alaska Native to serve in Congress and the first woman to represent Alaska in the House. Her fundraising increased as a result of the victory, exceeding that of her opponents in the run-up to this month’s midterm elections.
Peltola supported Young’s legacy while running for the two-year position. At an Alaska Federation of Natives gathering, when Peltola was greeted like a rock star, one of his daughters supported her and gave her a bolo tie that belonged to Young. Young served 49 years in that position.