Palin, the former governor of the state and the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee alongside John McCain, sought to succeed Rep. Don Young (R-AK), who died in March.
Peltola will be the first Democrat to win statewide federal office since 2008. She also will be the first woman and first Alaska Native American to hold the seat.
No candidate got more than 50% of the vote in the August 16 election, forcing the race into ranked-choice tabulations. In the second round, Peltola received 51.47% of the vote vs. 48.53% for Palin.
Palin was elected governor in 2006 but resigned the post three years later as she set out on a career as a political commentator and reality show host. She faced a crowded field in the special election, but emerged as a leading contender because of her name recognition and the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.
Palin, Republican Nick Begich III and Peltola will compete in November for an election for a full House term.
“We’ve won tonight, but we’re still going to have to hold this seat in November,” Peltola tweeted, with a link for campaign donations.
The loss of a congressional candidate after they served as a presidential or vice presidential nominee isn’t entirely unusual. Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to serve on a major party ticket, when she was former Vice President Walter Mondale’s running mate in 1984, was defeated in her subsequent bids for the U.S. Senate. Mondale himself lost a U.S. Senate bid in 2002.