Throng of opponents poised to take on Young and Stevens

Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- Voters in Tuesday's Democratic primary will select from two candidates who are vying to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens in November.

One candidate, Homer resident Frank Vondersaar, maintains a Web site that warns the ''corrupt, old-guard fascist politicians'' must be thrown out of office.

Another candidate, Anchorage resident Theresa Obermeyer, claims that Stevens jailed her for 29 days when she ran against him in 1996.

''It's obvious the Democrats have found it difficult to find candidates willing to undertake the gigantic expense of running a statewide campaign for federal office,'' said Alaska Democratic Party Chairman Scott Sterling.

''We're in a dry spell,'' he said.

Stevens has been in office for 34 years and serves as the ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee where he has brought millions in federal funds back to Alaska.

In announcing his candidacy earlier this year, Stevens said he would raise $1.5 million and ''run like there is someone there.''

Stevens faces Mike Aubrey, a 50-year-old unemployed man from Sutton, in Tuesday's Republican primary.

Aubrey previously worked for Chickaloon Health Services as a transportation coordinator and health education instructor and said Alaska needs to stabilize its economy through more manufacturing jobs.

Alaska's Green Party co-founder James Sykes is seeking his party's nomination for U.S. Senate against Thomas Higgins.

Sykes has charged that Stevens has become a tool for large corporate interests, particularly oil, transportation and defense.

Leonard ''Len'' Karpinski is running as a Libertarian and Jim Dore is running as an Alaskan Independence candidate for U.S. Senate.

Obermeyer is a former Anchorage School Board member who was arrested in 1995 after an altercation in the Anchorage federal building.

Republican U.S. Rep. Don Young is also seeking his 16th term in office. No other Republicans are running in Tuesday's primary.

Fairbanks resident Dae Miles and Clifford Mark Greene of Juneau are seeking the Democratic nomination. Green Party candidate Russell F. deForest and Libertarian Rob Clift also are running for the state's lone congressional seat.

The general election is Nov. 5.

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