Rep. Mary Peltola, the first Democrat to represent Alaska in the House in nearly 50 years, is looking to retain her post in Congress after flipping the seat from red to blue in 2022.

It’s been more than a year since Peltola, who previously served for a decade as a member of the Alaska state House, was sworn in as the singular voice for Alaskans in the U.S. House of Representatives. Her purported loyalty to her party, however, has left Peltola unable to address constituent concerns on Capitol Hill, according to two leading Republicans who are looking to oust her from Congress.

“Voters are furious,” Alaska GOP congressional candidate Nick Begich III told Fox News Digital about Peltola’s performance in office thus far.

Peltola first won election to the House in an August 2022 special election to replace 49-year GOP incumbent Don Young, who died five months prior. She went on to win the state’s general election later that year to serve for a full term.


Nick Begich, Mary Peltola, Nancy Dahlstrom

Alaska at-large congressional candidates from left to right: Nick Begich III, Rep. Mary Peltola, Alaska Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom. (Getty Images, Nancy Dahlstrom campaign)

“She was able to run a campaign that was pretty moderate in its tone and tenor in 2022,” Begich said of Peltola. “She liked to continuously invoke Don Young, our late congressman, as a central part of her campaign messaging. But the reality is she’s not voting anything like Don Young would have ever voted.”

Begich, whose father represented the state’s at-large congressional district in the early ’70s, previously ran to represent Alaska in the House during the 2022 election cycle.

Pointing to Peltola’s congressional record, Begich insisted the congresswoman’s actions had contributed to the inflationary pressure felt around the country, saying she “never saw a spending package she didn’t love.”

“She’s a big government, big spending liberal Democrat,” the Alaska native said. “She has no interest in balancing the budget, no interest in assuring that our nation has a fiscal foundation that’s solid going forward. She’s simply interested in finding any and all packages that will allow her to buy votes back home.”

Highlighting what he believes landed Peltola in Congress, Begich, who has received endorsements from Florida GOP Rep. Byron Donalds and former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, said she “ran ostensibly as the outsider candidate, but has immediately become the D.C. insider candidate.”

“She continues to see government as the ultimate solution to life’s problems,” Begich added of the Alaska lawmaker. “She does not believe in the importance of the private sector. … She seems to believe that the private sector is the enemy and the government is your friend. I couldn’t disagree with her more.”

Like Begich, Alaska Republican Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom, who announced her campaign to unseat Peltola last November, said she believes Peltola’s congressional record has proven she isn’t what Alaskans need.

“We like Mary as a person, but we don’t like her voting record. She’s not speaking for Alaskans,” Dahlstrom told Fox.


Mary Peltola

Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, poses for a portrait in her office on Capitol Hill on July 27, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Dahlstrom said her values differ from those held by the congresswoman and pointed to Peltola’s support for Biden’s re-election bid as proof of that. During a December appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Peltola claimed Biden’s “mental acuity is very, very on” and that he’s one of the “smartest, sharpest people” she met in D.C.

“I am a much more law and order person,” Dahlstrom said. “My values and Mary’s values are a little bit different. Mary has endorsed Biden for re-election, and I think that Mr. Biden needs to go.”

“Mary’s a nice lady, but we need a strong, strong candidate who wants to keep our country safe and lets us start prospering again,” added Dahlstrom, whose campaign has received endorsements from Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy and House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.

Peltola — who serves as chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, a self-described group of “fiscally-responsible Democrats” — has faced criticism for a number of actions she’s taken in the House since joining Congress. Last October, she voted against H.R. 4394, an appropriations bill that included $26 million in critical funding for multiple Alaska port projects, including more than $12.5 million for the port in Anchorage.

“Unfortunately, Peltola’s vote against the appropriations bill jeopardizes the timely completion of these critical repairs,” Bill Ball, an Alaska engineer and surveyor with four decades of experience, recalled at the time in an op-ed for the Anchorage Daily News. “By casting a ‘nay’ vote, she essentially signaled to her colleagues in Congress that Alaska’s port infrastructure is not a priority. This perception could make it significantly more challenging to secure the federal funding we need to address these pressing challenges.”

“Peltola indicated she voted against the bill because she believed it to defund the Denali Commission — this proved incorrect, as the bill in fact contained full funding for the Denali Commission. But regardless of her reasons, her vote against it has inadvertently undermined the efforts of her colleagues to secure funding for vital Alaska projects,” Ball added.

Alaska GOP chair Ann Brown echoed both Begich and Dahlstrom in criticizing Peltola, insisting that her sole representation of the state has been “one embarrassment after another.”

“Living in Alaska, D.C. can help or hurt us. Having Mary Peltola as our sole Representative has been one embarrassment after another,” Brown told Fox News Digital. “Rep. Peltola has served the interests of lower 48 progressives by attacking our way of life, our jobs, and our businesses. Particularly, Alaska is home to many military families and veterans, which is why her vote against a military pay raise and VA funding last year was so devastating.”


Mary Peltola

Women of Impact honorees Ashley Biden, Elena Velez, Rep. Mary Peltola and Oriaku Njoku attend the Women of Impact Celebration hosted by ELLE at Ciel Social Club on April 28, 2023, in Washington, DC. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for ELLE)

She said it’s clear to her that Peltola is “more interested in serving the interests of the Biden administration than the interests of everyday Alaskans,” adding that the lawmaker “has given her full-throated endorsement to a presidential candidate whose dwindling mental acuity is obvious.”

The Republican campaign to oust Peltola from office is an effort that’s also being championed by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), both of which are working to help the Republican Party maintain its majority in the House.

The at-large congressional district in Alaska is one of more than three dozen seats identified by the NRCC as “prime pick-up” opportunities for Republicans in 2024. Last year, the House GOP campaign arm launched an ad targeting Peltola for voting against a military pay increase.

The ad, which was titled “Under Attack” and targeted to military bases throughout Alaska, says our “soldiers are under attack” and blasted Peltola for her vote last year against the House defense appropriations package that included a 5.2% pay raise for the troops.

Additionally, the ad hit Peltola for voting en bloc against a funding bill for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and veterans’ benefits with other House Democrats.

“Alaska represents one of Republicans’ best pickup opportunities as a red state represented by Joe Biden’s chief enabler in Congress,” NRCC spokesperson Ben Petersen told Fox News Digital. “Mary Peltola broke her promises and instead sided with Biden and extreme liberals’ agenda destroying Alaska, which is why Alaskans will elect a strong Republican this fall.”

Similar to that of the NRCC, the CLF is also expected to target Peltola with thousands of dollars worth of digital ads later this spring.

“Mary Peltola presents herself as above the political fray, but her record tells the real story. Peltola has repeatedly rubber-stamped Biden’s disastrous policies that harm Alaskans way of life,” Courtney Parella, CLF’s communications director, told Fox.

Mary Peltola

Alaska Democrat Rep. Mary Peltola, center, attends a vote for Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on October 17, 2023.

Peltola’s campaign did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.


Alaska’s primary election, which will use ranked-choice voting, is slated to take place on August 24. The four candidates who receive the most votes, regardless of party affiliation, will move on to the state’s general election on Nov. 5.

Alaska voters in 2020 approved the switch to open primaries and having ranked voting in general elections. Alaskans for Better Elections was behind that successful push. Supporters of ranked voting say it gives voters more choice and encourages candidates who need a coalition of support to win to move away from negative campaigning. Opponents claim the process is confusing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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