Alyse Galvin became the first independent candidate to represent the Democratic Party in a general election by winning the primary for the U.S. House in Alaska on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court approved the Democratic Party’s decision to change its rules to let independents take part in primary elections. Galvin will be facing the Republican candidate Don Young in the general elections that is set to take place Nov. 6.

Though Galvin is a newcomer to politics, she has had a strong presence at the Alaska Legislature, where she advocated for better funding for schools.

She was one of the candidates who actively campaigned for the primary elections. According to Galvin, new energy and ideas were needed in Washington while tackling health care, renewable energy and climate change.

“We’re frustrated with Washington, more than ever now, I think,” she said.

She added she supported the comprehensive health care for all Alaskans, but believed the existing system could be improved upon.

Though she was criticized for her ties to the oil and gas industry, Galvin responded that though the former were an important part of the state’s economy, she was excited about the potential of renewable energy. Galvin’s husband works as an executive at a petroleum company.

Her husband, Pat, was a former state revenue commissioner, and the only Democrat to serve in the administration of former Republican Gov. Sarah Palin.

Responding to the criticism and her husband’s ties to the petroleum industry, Galvin said, “I’m my own person.”

She is a trained opera singer, having concentrated on the art during her three years of college in California.

"I decided that was a little bit self-serving," Galvin said, due to which she gave it up and switched to political science in the mid-1980s.

Thereafter, she was actively involved with work in South Africa during the dwindling days of the apartheid. She was involved in bringing Bishop Desmond Tutu, an anti-apartheid and human rights activist, to California during that time.

Alyse Galvin First Independent Democratic Representative In General Elections
Alyse Galvin is an education advocate who will go against Republican candidate Don Young. In this image, Alaskan voters line up to receive their ballots at a polling station on Nov. 2, 2010, in Anchorage. Getty Images/John Moore

A state Supreme Court decision this year opened up the Democratic primary to independents. Apart from having the option of taking part in the Democratic Party primary, they can also choose to skip the same, and gather signatures and head straight to the general ballot.

Galvin defeated Dimitri Shein, Carol Hafner, and Christopher Cumings to win the seat. Out of a total of 32,826 votes, she got 18,231, while Shein, Hafner, and Cumings got 7,530, 4,665, and 2,400 respectively.

Galvin’s opponent in the general elections, Young, is the longest-serving member of the House. The 85-year-old has served since 1973, and the narrowest win he ever had in primary was in 2008, when Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell lost to him for 304 votes.

In the current scenario, Young got 40,017 votes out of 56,447 total votes, which is 70.9 percent of the total.

In the primary for the governor, Mark Begich ran unopposed and won the Democratic seat. Mike Dunleavy won the Republican seat with 38,840 votes out of a total of 62,759.