Palin Attempting Political Comeback

She is running to finish out Don Young's term in Congress.

“Sarah Pailn” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Sarah Palin, the one-time GOP vice-presidential candidate and significant progenitor of the current state of Republican politics, is seeking Alaska’s sole House seat. The NYT has the details: Sarah Palin Announces She’s Running for Congress in Alaska.

She will be joining a crowded field of nearly 40 candidates to fill the House seat left vacant by Representative Don Young, whose unexpected death last month has spurred one of the largest political shifts in the state in 50 years.

Ms. Palin said in a statement that she planned to honor Mr. Young’s legacy, while painting a dystopian picture of a nation in crisis and criticizing the “radical left,” high gas prices, inflation and illegal immigration.

“America is at a tipping point,” she said in the statement. “As I’ve watched the far left destroy the country, I knew I had to step up and join the fight.”

This reminds me of rhetoric from Rick Scott that I noted earlier. I will resist the urge at flippancy and note that while it is certainly true that life is currently not paradisical, I am fairly certain that the apocalypse requires more than high gas prices. Who knew Ragnorak had unemployment rates of 3.6%? (I think I failed to avoid flippancy. I honestly did try).

At any rate, here’s the basic context and the rules under which the seat will be contested:

Mr. Young, 88, who was the longest-serving Republican in Congress and who was first elected in 1973, died on March 18. The scramble among potential candidates to fill his unexpired term started almost immediately. Friday was the deadline to file official paperwork, and the Alaska Division of Elections had received submissions from 37 candidates by Friday afternoon.

A special election will be held on June 11. The top four candidates who get the most votes move ahead to the special general election on Aug. 16. The state will be using a unique “top four” system for the first time. The regular open primary for Mr. Young’s seat and the special general election are being held on the same day, a move that might lead to confusion.

I will be curious to see how the primary + special election situation plays out. It is worth noting that Alaska will still have to hold a general election in November for the term that starts in January. The special election will only be for the remainder of Young’s term.

Palin’s name recognition alone gives her a high probability of making it to the top four in a crowded field. Her ability to garner free media on outlets like FNC will also be a huge asset. Still, I have little sense of the state of Alaskan politics beyond those observations, which are more about the rules than about the field.

The NYT report tells us that

Ms. Palin will face a host of both far-right and establishment Republican rivals, including Nick Begich III, the Republican scion of Alaskan political royalty; State Senator Joshua Revak, an Iraq war veteran who previously worked for Mr. Young; and Tara Sweeney, who served in the Trump administration as assistant secretary of the interior for Indian affairs.

If anything, I expect a return of the following, in all its nonsensical glory (from a pre-iPhone cell phone camera in 2008):


FILED UNDER: 2022 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:


    (don’t I wish)

  2. CSK says:

    According to the Anchorage Daily News, there are 51 candidates for the office, including someone from the North Pole who bills himself as “Santa Claus”. A better question might be: Who’s not running for this seat?

    As for Palin, she’s only running to fill Young’s term, so she’ll have an easy out when she gets bored, or offered another reality tv show.

  3. Mister Bluster says:

    If I am reading this correctly that means the term being filled, August 16, 2022, to January 3, 2023 is all of 4 months and change. 1/2 Governor Palin should be well suited for this stint and should campaign that her previous abbreviated public service makes her the go to candidate.

  4. Sleeping Dog says:

    Given that Alaskans are accustomed to a Rep whose specialty was, bringing home the bacon, it is difficult to imagine they’ll be satisfied with one who specializes in performative BS.

  5. Tony W says:

    Tina Fey is rested and ready!

  6. bookdragon01 says:

    This is excellent news for Tina Fey.

  7. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Sleeping Dog: As a citizen who unfortunately has Loren Boebert as my representative I can say Palin won’t have to do anything except mouth off and then claim she brought home the bacon even though (like Boebert) she voted against the bills that actually supplied said bacon.

  8. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mr. Prosser:

    …won’t have to do anything except mouth off and then claim she brought home the bacon…

    Unfortunately that can be said for the entire R caucus.

  9. CSK says:

    Palin’s website,, doesn’t provide any position papers. It doesn’t give any indication of what she might do for Alaska, or the country. Nothing about what she believes. Not even a brief biography, although we probably know everything we need to know about her.

    What it does do is ask for donations, with “make this a monthly donation” already thoughtfully pre-checked, as well as “donate an additional $__ automatically on 4/15,” also thoughtfully pre-checked. So considerate of her.

  10. DK says:

    @bookdragon01: Hehe. This is bad news for Tina Fey, who is on record as having tired of the parody.

  11. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Is she actually registered or is this just a public statement she can walk back any time? Because I’ll be shocked if this is anything beyond an attention getting statement to remind people she’s still around. I’m willing to bet that after a few weeks or when the deadline for filing is looming, she’ll announce she’s not running after all because people are being mean to her kids and she just loves the little tykes so darn much she’s not going to put them through that. Any takers?

  12. CSK says:

    @Not the IT Dept.:
    I think the deadline for filing was yesterday by 5 p.m.

  13. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I hope she gets the job… maybe then she will be able to afford to eat. I mean, poor woman is just a stick figure character of her previous appearance. Somebody give her a sandwich.

    Unless she’s gone anorexic. In which case, don’t bother with the sammich… she won’t eat it anyways.

    Anorexia is very serious of course, and if that is the issue, then she should get professional help. Won’t happen, of course, because of dunning kruger.

    Poor poor Sarah.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Yes. 4/1/22.

    @Not the IT Dept.: she’ll announce she’s not running after all because people are being mean to her kids and

    What? And forego all that sweet campaign cash she can funnel thru family connected campaign businesses?

  15. John says:

    The last thing America needs is another bafoon in the White House