Palin leads Alaska GOP primary, will advance to general election to fill Rep. Don Young's seat

Palin was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin finished atop the Alaska special Republican congressional primary in early results released Sunday, advancing to the general election in the race to succeed the late Rep. Don Young.

Palin, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, finished atop the field of 48 candidates with nearly 30% of the early ballots counted, followed by fellow Republican Nick Begich at 19.3%, surgeon Al Gross, an independent, and Democratic state legislator Mary Peltola at about 7.5%.

The results could change somewhat as Alaska keeps counting the mail-in ballots, but the top four finished will advance to the general election slated for Aug. 16.

"Thank you, Alaska," Palin tweeted midday Sunday after the results were announced. "I'm looking forward to the special general election so we can highlight our ideas for fixing this country by responsibly developing Alaska's God-given natural resources, getting runaway government spending under control, protecting human life, protecting the right to keep and bear arms, and restoring respect for individual liberty and the constitution."

The run for Young's seat is a political comeback for Palin, the 2008 GOP nominee for vice president, after more than a decade out of politics.

Young, the longest serving Republican House member, passed away in March after being stricken on a flight back home from Washington.