Meet Mary Sattler Peltola, the first Alaska Native in Congress completing the remainder of her late congressman of nearly 50 years, Don Young’s term, while running for a full one. Her election is a major score for Democrats, Indigenous Americans, many Alaskans, and some Republicans. She’s the first woman to represent Alaska in the House and the first Alaska Native to represent the state in either chamber of Congress. She’s also the first Democrat in the seat since the Nixon administration.
After Young’s death, a special election was held with 48 candidates, including Peltola and Sarah Palin. Peltola campaigned on the issues of “pro-jobs, pro-fish, pro-family and pro-choice,” but she did it without bashing her opponents. She also makes a point to work across the aisle.
With under four months in office, the mother of four, stepmom to three, and a grandma to two has a lot to get done. Within the hour of her swearing-in, she cast her first three votes as a congresswoman! On November 8th, Peltola will face off with Republicans Palin and Nick Begich III again in the general election.