If Alaska’s ranked-choice primary is any indication, there will be a dog fight to determine whether Kelly Tshibaka can oust U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski this November. The two are running neck-and-neck with Murkowski enjoying a slight lead.

Likewise, the race to become Alaska’s next U.S. Representative in the House of Congress is close. Mary Peltola holds a slight lead in the special election to choose a temporary replacement for the late Rep. Don Young, and she also enjoys a slim lead in the primary to take over after Young’s term expires in January. That said, Palin is a close second, and Begich is just around the corner.

In reality, either Palin or Begich will likely fill Young’s giant shoes as Alaska’s sole member in the U.S. House. Peltola’s lead is a bit of a mirage. Due to ranked-choice voting, no one will win more than 50% of the vote, which means either Palin or Begich will be eliminated in the second round of counting. Since an eliminated candidate’s second-ranked choices go to the remaining candidates, it is highly unlikely that a liberal Democrat like Peltola will finish first.

In the governor’s race, Gov. Dunleavy’s position as incumbent seems to be too much for anyone to seriously challenge him. He enjoyed a wide lead over all the other candidates and appears headed to victory in November.

In reality, the ranked choice primary was really a rehearsal for November. All the leading candidates moved on, and nearly every single person running for State House or Senate advanced. The real race begins now.

For the next three months, conservatives need to buckle down, mobilize and get out the vote. This is especially true with regards to the U.S. Senate race and the 59 State Legislature contests. We can’t afford another compromised RINO circus on the state level, nor should the country be stuck with a self-proclaimed Republican senator from Alaska who prides herself in voting with the Democrats.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

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OPINION: Alaska primary shows conservatives have fight on their hands

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.