Palin calls for Begich to drop out of the congressional race but deadline arrives and neither budge
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The 5 p.m. Sept. 5 deadline has come and gone for candidates to drop out of the general election to fill the late Don Young’s congressional seat. Despite calls for one of them to step down, Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich are still in it.
Earlier in the day, Palin called a press conference outside her Wasilla home. She used the occasion to blast the ranked-choice voting system which she said allowed Democrat Mary Peltola to win the special election.
“Nobody understood the convoluted, complicated voter suppression agenda that it is,” Palin said. “Otherwise, Alaskans would never have said, ‘yay, let’s do that.’”
But Palin’s biggest criticism went to fellow Republican Nick Begich, who she said split the vote.
“Nick has until 5 o’clock today to do the right thing,” Palin said. “And if he truly supports the election of a real conservative, real Republican from Alaska to the U.S. House of Representatives, he’s not that candidate. I am.”
Both Begich and Palin spent part of the afternoon at the state fair in Palmer, where Begich made it clear he had no intention of going anywhere.
“Sarah Palin’s first reaction to adversity is to either quit herself or encourage others to quit,” Begich said. “And I’m not going to quit on Alaska.”
Despite the fact that Palin got more votes in than Begich in the special election, Begich said he doesn’t believe that Palin can pull off a win in November.
“Sarah Palin is going to lose again if she stays in this race,” he said. “At the end of the day, Alaskans know who Sarah Palin is and they’re not going to vote for her.”
Not surprisingly, Palin had some fighting words of her own.
“Sorry Nick, I never retreat, I reload. And that’s thanks to my dad who taught me that lesson when I was a little girl and I’ve been living it ever since,” she said.
The Alaska Republican Party has formally endorsed Nick Begich for the seat. In an emailed statement, the Alaska Republican Party wrote:
“Cooperation amongst Republican candidates, is needed if both our endorsed candidate Nick Begich and Governor Palin remain in the race for the November election.”
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