Republicans Palin and Begich proceed to race to unseat Peltola within the US Home of Representatives

Sarah Palin

Despite calls for each other’s exit to boost Republican odds, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will appear with fellow Republican candidate Nick Begich III on the general election ballot for the only state seat in the U.S. House of Representatives against the elected Democratic Party. Mary Peltola and Libertarian Chris Bye.

The state’s withdrawal deadline passed at 5 p.m. Monday with Palin and Begich ignoring calls to leave.

Earlier in the day, Palin made a hasty call Labor Day press conference at Wasilla’s house after finishing second after Peltola last week in the selection of special choice rankings to fill the remaining term of the late Rep. Don Young, the long-serving Republican who died in March.

Peltola, Palin, Begich and Bye will now face each other in November’s general election to serve full two-year terms in Congress from January.

Alaskan Republicans are encouraging Alaskans to “place a red rating” for the ranking choice general election, meaning voters will mark their ballots for both Republican candidates to try to help the party regain control of Congress.

In an Instagram post on Monday morning, complete with a white surrender flag, Palin wrote that “Republicans must unite” and “I know when to take one for the team.”

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“I call on the negative Nick Begich to get out of this race,” Palin told reporters and supporters gathered in the courtyard outside her Lake Lucille home Monday. “He doesn’t represent the best of Alaska. He represents a network of good old boys, the establishment and yes, the liberals, the liberals in the Democratic Party. Only a Democrat sympathizer would selfishly stay in this race after being beaten three times, three times in a row by his GOP opponent, just to allow a Democrat to hold an Alaskan seat in the United States House of Representatives.”

[ADN Politics podcast — How Mary Peltola won Alaska’s special election for U.S. House]

Palin said she had no intention of stopping racing.

“Sorry, Nick. I never back down, I recharge,” he said.

Soon after, Begich said in a written statement that he had no intention of dropping out of the race.

Palin has been confirmed by former President Donald Trump, who also supported Republican Kelly Tshibaka in her fight against Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski. Murkowski voted to impeach Trump.

The Lake Lucille press conference was held at the same venue where Palin, the governor-elect in 2006, announced him resign as governor in July 2009. He refuted Begich’s assertion that he was quitting to pursue a career in reality television, saying he had been beaten with “false ethical violations” and lawsuits, meaning he was unable to enforce his agenda.

He said he had spent intervening years campaigning for “conservative common sense” across the US, and he rejected suggestions that he had moved out of Alaska.

After criticizing Begich at length, and questioning Begich’s background, he said Alaska was “disgusted by all this negative campaigning,” but he had to speak out against Begich’s “lies” about his family and records.

Sarah Palin

Later Monday, Begich’s campaign issued a statement saying he remained in the race: “We are confident that we are on a positive trajectory to win in November,” his campaign wrote.

Begich said Palin’s performance in the election had been “embarrassing” as a vice presidential and governor candidate and that her unfavorable high ratings among Alaskan voters meant she was unable to win a statewide ranking choice election. He had previously asked Palin to step down and said Alaskans wanted someone “less polarized” over the former governor.

“I will continue to travel to the states, making the case that this election is about a choice between Mary Peltola and Nick Begich,” he added.

[Watch: Alaska U.S. House candidates debate at oil and gas industry conference]

Begich requested and received support from the Alaska Republican State Central Committee in April. A party spokesman said that if both candidates remained in the race that Alaska would have to “rank red,” meaning both Republicans, to help retain the Republican seat.

Palin on Monday again railed against Alaska’s new ranking voting system, calling it “weird,” “whack” and “cockamamie.” He said it had “disarmed” Alaskan voters by sending Peltola to Congress to fill the remainder of Young’s term, effectively empowering President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to lock up Alaskan resources.

In the days following the election, Peltola refused to be characterized as a hardline Democrat, calling himself “moderate” and “midway.”

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About half of Begich voters in special congressional elections voted for Palin as their second choice, but more than a quarter of Begich voters put Peltola in second, crossing party lines. A fifth of its voters did not rank the candidate as their second choice, contributing to Peltola’s gains.

The Alaska pollster said their voter research showed that Palin’s high negative with many Alaskan voters made Begich a stronger challenger to Peltola than Palin.

A spokesman for Peltola’s campaign said he would travel to Washington, DC, next week and would be sworn in on September 13 to serve the remainder of Young’s term.

Maguire reports from Juneau and Goodykoontz and Herz reports from Wasilla. Maguire and Goodykoontz are ADN reporters; Herz is a contributor.

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