Alaska’s GOP lieutenant governor joins race against Dem Rep. Mary Peltola

Alaska Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom announced on Tuesday that she is running for the state’s at-large House seat, becoming the second Republican to formally enter the race to unseat Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska).

Dahlstrom joins Republican Nick Begich, who announced his campaign for the seat in July, launching his third attempt to defeat Peltola.

Peltola officially launched her 2024 reelection bid the following month.

Dahlstrom, in her campaign announcement, characterized herself as a “tough fighter,” who “will stop [President] Biden and the extreme liberals ruining our future, bankrupting our families, killing our jobs, harming our military and veterans, and threatening our security.”

“I’ve dedicated my career advocating for our military and veterans, protecting our families by locking up violent criminals, and developing Alaska’s natural resources, energy, and jobs,” she said. “Talk is cheap, results matter. Alaska needs Washington D.C. to stop working against us, and no one will fight harder for Alaska’s way of life than me.”

The press release did not target or mention Peltola by name.

Peltola won a special election in the summer of 2022 to fill the seat vacated by the late Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), who held the seat for nearly 50 years until he died in office. Peltola won again in November 2022, during the midterm elections. She is the first Alaska Native woman to represent the state in Congress.

During both elections, she defeated Begich and former Gov. Sarah Palin (R). In the November election, she also defeated a third opponent, Libertarian Chris Bye. The state adopted a ranked-choice voting system for the first time in 2022.

Peltola, though a Democrat, has proved a difficult candidate to beat in a state that has consistently voted Republican in every presidential election for the last several decades.

In 2022, she won the endorsements of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and much of the late Young’s staff and family. She is one of the only pro-oil Democrats in Congress and has focused her campaign on state issues, rather than nationalizing the races.

“Mary gets that this isn’t her seat, it’s Alaska’s sole seat in the House. It’s up to her to prove to Alaskans every two years that she’s the right person to fight for them in DC. And she’s focused on doing just that – delivering for Alaska,” Elisa Rios, campaign manager for Mary Peltola for Congress, told The Hill.

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