ANCHORAGE - Incumbent U.S. Rep. Don Young said the biggest problem he had with his re-election campaign was that supporters did not believe had had a serious challenge.
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The Republican's narrower-than-usual margin of victory Tuesday should energize his campaign next time he runs, he said.
With 248 of 439 precincts reporting - about 56 percent - Young captured nearly 57 percent of the vote to retain Alaska's lone congressional seat. Democrat Diane Benson trailed with 40 percent of the vote.
Young, 73, predicted last month there would be no Republican congressional seats lost this election, but national returns gave Democrats control of the House of Representatives, meaning Young will lose his powerful chairman's seat of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Young expressed confidence that he could remain effective as the ranking minority member.
"I spent 22 years in the minority," he told KTUU-TV.
Robert Murdoch, a voter in west Anchorage, said he wanted change in Alaska's governor's chair and voted for Republican Sarah Palin. But in Congress, he said, the incumbent could do more good for Alaska.
"He already has clout," Murdoch said. "I think he can get a lot more accomplished for us."
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