Sources familiar with the Al Gross campaign tell the Landmine that Independent candidate Al Gross plans to withdraw from the special general congressional election to replace the late Don Young.
With the vast of majority of primary votes counted, Gross is currently in third place with 12.65%. Republican Sarah Palin is in first place with 27.59%, Republican Nick Begich is in second place with 19.27%, and Democrat Mary Peltola is in fourth place with 9.44%. The special primary election is scheduled to be certified on June 25.
In the new voting system that voters approved in 2020, the top-four primary candidates advance to a ranked choice general. If one of the top-four withdraws before the deadline – which is June 26 for the special general election – the fifth place finisher moves up. Republican Tara Sweeney, who is in fifth place with 5.79%, will move up to the special general election if Gross officially withdraws. The special general election will appear on the regular August 16 primary ballot.
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Sources report that Gross made the decision to withdraw for personal reasons, but would not provide additional detail.
Gross is also a candidate in the regular U.S. House primary election. If he withdraws from the special general election, he will also likely withdraw from the regular primary election. This would give Sweeney a good chance of placing in the top-four and advancing to the regular general election.
Gross ran and won as an independent in the 2020 Democratic party. He went on to unsuccessfully challenge Senator Dan Sullivan (R – Alaska) in the 2020 general election. In early May, the Alaska Democratic Party turned on Gross, posting on social media, “He’s not a liberal, he’s not a Democrat and he sure as hell doesn’t share your Democratic values, but pandering Al Gross still has the audacity to beg for your money after saying he’d caucus with Republicans…do you REALLY want your money going to support the Donald Trump/Sarah Palin platform?”
This is a developing story.
Update: Al Gross released the following statement not long after this article was published.