Young, Stevens easily win re-election to Congress

Posted: Wednesday, November 06, 2002

ANCHORAGE - Two members of Alaska's Republican congressional delegation coasted to re-election victories Tuesday, easily besting a crowded field of lesser-known and underfunded challengers.

For more Juneau Empire coverage of the November 5 general election, please visit the Juneau Empire Elections Guide.

U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, who has built a reputation of securing millions in federal funds for Alaska, took 78 percent of the vote with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

Stevens, 78, faced Green Party founder Jim Sykes, Libertarian Len Karpinski, Jim Dore of the Alaskan Independence Party, and Democrat Frank Vondersaar. Vondersaar got 10 percent of the votes, Sykes 7 percent and Dore 3 percent.

Stevens has been in office for 34 years and serves as the ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, where he is credited with bringing millions in federal funds to Alaska. This is his seventh consecutive term.

Stevens was led into the Sullivan Arena by bagpipe players decked out in Scottish garb followed by an entourage of supporters.

Stevens' Democratic opponent was a Homer resident and former Air Force officer who described himself as a "political prisoner" who wanted to oust "old-guard fascist politicians."

Sykes, who founded the Alaska Green Party in 1990, was critical of Stevens for his support of the BP and ARCO merger. Dore ran a pro-guns, anti-abortion, anti-United Nations campaign.

Rep. Don Young, Alaska's lone congressman, easily won his 17th consecutive term in Congress with 75 percent of the vote.

Young faced Democrat Clifford Mark Greene of Juneau, Libertarian Rob Clift of Anchorage and Green Party candidate Russell deForest of Fairbanks. Greene, who opposed U.S. nuclear weapons policies, got 17 percent of the vote. The Greens' deForest, who called for a national health-care program, won 6 percent. Clift, who opposed military intervention overseas, had 1.6 percent.

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