Rep. Don Young (R-AK) passed away last week at the age of 88. Alaska’s only representative, serving for 48 years, was first elected to the House in 1973. The seat is now vacant and must be filled. How about Sarah Palin? That’s a question that was posed to her. On Monday, she said she would do it “in a heartbeat.”
Young, the Dean of the House, leaves big shoes to fill after a storied career in the House. Palin appeared on Newsmax TV’s The Balance with host Eric Bolling. The topic came up and she sounded eager to project her willingness to serve in that office.
“If I were asked to serve in the House and take his place I would be humbled and honored,” Palin told host Eric Bolling. “In a heartbeat, I would.
“We will see how this process goes in filling that seat – it would be an honor.”
— Newsmax (@newsmax) March 21, 2022
Of course, Palin won’t simply be asked to fill the vacant seat; House members must be elected in accordance with the Constitution, not appointed by governors even to fill a mid-session vacancy. There will be a special election, including primary and a general election to determine who will succeed Rep. Young. The winner takes the seat for this session, and will have to run again in November for the next two-year term. If Palin wants the job, she’ll have to run for it like anyone else who may be interested.
Palin spoke with admiration for Young, like many other Alaskans have, as she said, “Think of those huge shoes that are to be filled when we consider Don Young’s longevity and his passion, his love, his fighting spirit for our wonderful state of Alaska and for the nation as a whole.” Admiration for Young and his service in the House runs along bipartisan lines, with even the hyper-partisan Nancy Pelosi speaking well of him. She announced that Rep. Young will lie in state in the Capitol building next week.
“For five decades, he was an institution in the hallowed halls of Congress: a serious legislator always bringing people together to do the People’s work,” Pelosi said. “The photographs of him with 10 presidents of both parties who signed his bills into law that proudly cover the walls of his Rayburn office are a testament to his longevity and his legislative mastery.”
There will be a formal and private ceremony for family and friends for Young on March 29. After that, a viewing for members of Congress will be allowed.
Palin’s interest in the seat is something that will spark the usual partisan bickering. Palin is a former governor of Alaska but resigned from office early. At the time, she pointed to legal challenges on ethics from political opponents. Since then she has taken advantage of her name recognition for financial pursuits, as you would expect, but she hasn’t run for office since her run as vice-president with John McCain. Sometimes she makes headlines for things she says, like statements that showed skepticism for COVID-19 vaccines. She didn’t see the need to be vaccinated since she has natural immunity after having COVID. She was most recently involved in a defamation lawsuit against the New York Times. That lawsuit was tossed out but her lawyer said they will likely pursue another trial.
Palin’s critics weighed in with the usual cracks about her intelligence and their general dislike of her.
Sarah Palin says,"If I were asked to serve in the House and take [the late Don Young's] place I would be humbled and honored … In a heartbeat, I would." Sounds like she's angling 4 an appointment. Someone needs 2 tell her vacant House seats R filled by election, not appointment.
— Ken Rudin (@kenrudin) March 22, 2022
Oh man, Sarah Palin is going to be the next speaker of the house. https://t.co/1mmryMOus4
— Brandon Farmahini (@MrFarmahini) March 21, 2022
Even the lefty site, Room Rater, offered up its opinion.
— Room Rater (@ratemyskyperoom) March 22, 2022
Haters gonna hate. As I said, she’ll have to run like everyone else so it will be interesting to see if she puts herself out there in a real campaign. We know she’s tough enough to handle it if she so chooses. The question is, do Alaska voters want to send her to Washington, D.C. as their sole representative? Given today’s political environment, they may be ready for a fresh face, not someone with a mixed record in the national spotlight.