ANCHORAGE Faced with a slate of political novices, U.S. Rep. Don Young easily secured a 15th term as Alaska's only member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
With nearly 80 percent of precincts reporting in Tuesday's general election, Young had more than 70 percent of the vote. Democratic rival Clifford Greene of Juneau had 17 percent.
Greene was followed by Alaska Green Party candidate Anna Young with 8 percent, Alaskan Independence Party candidate Jim Dore with 3 percent and Libertarian Party candidate Len Karpinski with 2 percent.
Greene did better in Juneau, winning about 25 percent of the vote. Don Young got 57 percent, Annna Young 12 percent, Dore 3 percent and Karpinksi 1.6 percent.
Greene ran on a platform that included national health care, affordable housing and a revision of the War Powers Act. He said he was disappointed and probably won't run again.
"I knew it would be a long shot but I thought I could gather momentum as the campaign went on," he said. "I think this is the end of the road for me in politics."
Winning by a wide margin is not unusual for Young. In 1998, he won with 63 percent of the vote against Democratic rival state Sen. Jim Duncan of Juneau. Two years before that, Young got nearly 60 percent of the vote against the Democratic challenger, state Sen. Georgianna Lincoln of Rampart.
"Frankly, I'm not surprised but I'm very pleased and I'm very happy," Young said after learning of his victory.
Steve Hansen, a Young spokesman, said this election shows that Alaskans remember what Young has done for them and believe he will continue to deliver in the future.
"It is always good when you get a very solid majority of the vote especially when you have a diverse party of candidates," Hansen said. "He is ratified by this strong support."
Young, 67, received nearly three times as many votes in the primary as his Democratic opponent, a 46-year-old unemployed paralegal who lived in Ketchikan at the time. Green, who never has held elective office, received 33 percent of the vote in August's open primary, which didn't include Republican candidates.
With Republicans maintaining control of the U.S. House, Young's prospects of heading its Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure looked good.
"They know I'm a good chairman," he said.
Young, the 16th highest ranking member of the House, is stepping down as chairman of the House Resources Committee.
Greene received no money from the state Democratic Party and spent a few hundred dollars on his campaign. Young had about $1 million at his disposal.
© 2017. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us