Forty-eight hours after Sarah Palin got in the special election to replace the late Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee got her first major endorsement — from Donald Trump.
In a strongly-worded endorsement issued by his Save America Political Action Committee, the former president hailed Palin as "a true America First Fighter" and "a champion for Alaska values, Alaska energy, Alaska jobs, and the great people of Alaska."
"Sarah shocked many when she endorsed me very early in 2016, and we won big," recalled Trump, "Now, it's my turn!"
"She was one of the most popular governors because she stood up to corruption in both State Government and the Fake News Media."
Turning to the '08 campaign and her role as John McCain's running mate, the former president said "Sarah lifted the McCain presidential campaign out of the dumps despite the fact that she had to endure some very evil, stupid, and jealous people within the campaign itself. They were out to destroy her, but she didn't let that happen."
With polls showing Trump's endorsement is a boost to any candidate in a Republican primary, Palin will no doubt be helped in field of 51 that includes Nick Begich III (the grandson of Young's predecessor), former Assistant U.S. Secretary of the Interior Tara Sweeney, former State Sen. John Coghill (son of one of the authors of Alaska's constitution) and North Pole (Alaska) City Councilman Santa Claus (who changed his name).
Under the new rules, voters in the special primary June 11 will choose four candidates from major or minor parties to compete in the special election Aug. 16 (the same day as the primary for the general election).
Alaska is the only state in the nation that has adopted ''ranked-choice'' voting for all offices (Maine uses it selectively — only in races for federal office and not in any races in which there are two candidates and one can win 50% outright). This means the Alaskan in the Aug. 16 contest with the fewest first-choice votes among the four contenders is eliminated and his or her votes given to their second choices. The process of eliminating and reassigning continues until one of the four has a majority.
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