Republican Sweeney plans to withdraw from the Alaska House race

Alaskan US House of Representatives candidate Tara Sweeney said Tuesday she plans to end her campaign and said she sees no way to win or raise the resources needed to be successful in November’s general election .

Sweeney was fourth after last week’s US House primary as election officials continued to count ballots. But she was well behind the frontrunners, Democrat Mary Peltola and Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich, who were already poised to advance to November’s general election.

An election process approved by voters in 2020 sees the top four voters in a primary advance to the general election, which uses ranking voting.

Tiffany Montemayor, a spokeswoman for the state Elections Department, said if a candidate advancing from the primary resigns 64 days or more before the general election, the fifth-place candidate would advance instead.

“The department will determine the candidates for the general election after the primary results are confirmed and the Sept. 5 exit period expires,” she said via email.

Peltola, Palin and Begich were also the three candidates who took part in last week’s ranking special election that will determine who will serve out the remainder of the late US Rep. Don Young’s term, which ends early next year. The results of this election are not expected before August 31st.

Sweeney finished fifth in the June special primary but did not qualify for the special after third-place finisher independent Al Gross withdrew. Gross’ name was not on the special ballot, but election officials and the courts ruled that he withdrew too late for Sweeney’s name to appear.

Sweeney announced just before the August 16 special election that she had registered as a candidate for that race.

Sweeney said in her statement Tuesday she would file paperwork to withdraw from the home race, but didn’t say when. She didn’t say if she would support anyone.

Her campaign manager, Karina Waller, said Sweeney’s statement was the only one issued by the campaign on Tuesday.

“This race is critical to Alaska’s future,” Sweeney said. “We must ensure that Alaska’s sole vote in the House of Representatives has the best possible representation. I look forward to working with a true Alaskan who is willing to continue Don Young’s legacy while serving in Congress.”

Meanwhile, Democrat Pat Chesbro advanced in the race for the US Senate in Alaska for November’s general election, and Republican Charlie Pierce advanced in the gubernatorial race after the Division of Elections released more voting numbers on Tuesday.

Chesbro, a retired educator, joins Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski and Republican Kelly Tshibaka, who were backed by former President Donald Trump, in advancing in the Senate race. The fourth spot still had to be called up.

Pierce, Mayor of the Kenai Peninsula Borough, joins Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy, Independent former Gov. Bill Walker and Democrat Les Gara in advancing the gubernatorial race. Republican Sweeney plans to withdraw from the Alaska House race

Dais Johnston

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