Young, Stevens sail to easy re-election

Posted: Wednesday, November 06, 2002

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

Sen. Ted Stevens, who has built a reputation of securing millions in federal funds for Alaska, took 78 percent of the vote with 74 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.

Stevens has been in office for 34 years and serves as the ranking Republican on the Senate Appro-priations 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. His wife Catherine was at his side as supporters followed the two around the arena.

Stevens' Democratic opponent is a former Air Force officer from Homer who describes 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.

Rep. Don Young, Alaska's lone congressman, easily won his 17th consecutive term in Congress with 75 percent of the vote. That was with 74 percent of precincts counted.

Young faced Democrat Clifford Mark Green, Libertarian Rob Clift and Green Party candidate Russell deForest.

Neither incumbent faced much organized opposition, instead putting their energies into supporting Sen. Frank Murkowski's gubernatorial bid.

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