Alaska Dem Mary Peltola: No family's untouched by drug abuse

(NewsNation) — Alaska Democrat Mary Peltola edged out Sarah Palin and more than 40 other candidates last month to fill Alaska’s lone congressional seat.

She made history in the process. She is the first Alaska native to serve in Congress and also the first Democrat to hold that seat in nearly half a century.

She says she’s working on big issues for Alaska, including food insecurity, fish management, oil drilling, the environment and finding solutions to the effects of climate change.

Another matter at the top of mind for Peltola is fentanyl deaths. The Last Frontier saw a 71 percent increase in fentanyl deaths from 2020 to 2021.

Peltola says while it is a problem in Alaska, it’s also a serious issue nationwide. She says her family and so many others have been impacted by drug abuse.  

“We need to crack down on this. We need to take this very seriously. There is no family that is untouched by this,” Peltola said.

While some lawmakers have suggested cracking down on drug dealers by charging them with manslaughter, Peltola said she’s not ready to announce her stance on that idea but said it’s worth considering.

In the video above, she explains how Alaskans are reacting to her approach to politics.