Sarah Palin complimented Mary Peltola as 'a real Alaskan chick' in texts after the Democrat beat Palin in a special House election

Mary Peltola, the representative-elect for Alaska and former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.
Mary Peltola, the representative-elect for Alaska and former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.Ash Adams for The Washington Post via Getty Images, Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • Peltola said Palin congratulated her after she beat Palin in a special House election on Wednesday.

  • Peltola narrowly defeated Palin in a special House election in Alaska's at-large congressional district.

  • Peltola said she has a lot of "fraternity and comraderie" with Palin and the other candidate in the race.

Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska, texted Congresswoman-elect Mary Peltola to congratulate Peltola on beating her in Alaska's special House election. Palin called Peltola "a real Alaskan chick," Peltola told Insider in an interview on Thursday.

"We've been texting this morning and she sent well wishes and let me know that she's been referring to me as, let me make sure I'm saying it correctly, 'a real Alaskan chick. Beautiful and smart and tough,'" Peltola told Insider. "And so I just have a lot of feelings of camaraderie to the other people in the race. It really takes a lot to run for public office and go through that and put your family through that."

Palin's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Peltola pointed to the fact that she and Palin both have large families and how Palin's children's father and Peltola are both native Yup'ik.

Peltola and Palin have known each other for years and served together in the Alaska state house. They were previously reported to be friendly toward one another on the campaign trail.

"So I feel a lot of fraternity and comraderie with the other candidates and that really includes Sarah," Peltola said.

Peltola, who will become the first Democrat to hold the House seat in nearly 50 years, said she characterizes herself as a "rural Democrat" with some conservative tendencies.

"My record in the state legislature showed I am conservative — I am for resource development," she said. Still, Peltola noted that in Congress she'd "follow my own compass and make sure that I'm staying true to Alaska and Alaskan values."

Peltola will fill the seat previously held by Republican Rep. Don Young, who died in March, until the November general election. Young was the state's sole representative for nearly 50 years.

"I think that whoever fills this, the remainder of Congressman Young's term and follows him in the next term, we have some big shoes to fill," Peltola told Insider. "Don Young was larger than life. He really had a legacy of working for all Alaskans and really delivering to all Alaskans."

Peltola explained that Young "represented very Alaskan values and outlook," which she said is key to getting elected in a red state with an independent streak. "I think that it's more about finding an Alaskan representative who really reflects Alaska and Alaskan values," which she said she certainly has.

The representative-elect said that she doesn't think Alaskans vote based on their political affiliation, instead, she thinks they vote for the best candidate.

"I think Alaskans by and large vote for the person and not the political affiliation," Peltola said.

Peltola thinks that her quirky campaign slogan, "pro-jobs, pro-fish, pro-family, and pro-choice," may have aided in her victory. She told Insider that being pro-fish and pro-choice may have given her a particular boost.

 

"Alaskan security and Alaskan identity is very intertwined with salmon, not only for our ecosystems, but for food security," she said. "I think 'pro-fish' really appeals to people on some coastal Alaska and along our rivers."

She added, "And I do think that Alaskans very much prize our privacy and our freedom. And that extends to women's reproductive rights. So my being the only pro-choice candidate in the field, I think, was to my advantage."

Peltola will face off once again against Palin and Republican Nick Begich III in November. After defeating Palin, the Cook Political Report changed its prediction of the general election race, moving it from "likely R" to a "toss up."

Read the original article on Business Insider