ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Political novice Clifford Greene has never even met U.S. Rep. Don Young, his opponent in the Nov. 7 election.
But the unemployed paralegal from Ketchikan, a Democrat, says Alaskans shouldn't count him out Nov. 7. He just might topple one of the most powerful politicians in Washington, he says.
''I still believe that nothing is sure in politics,'' Greene said.
Each of Young's election opponents believes Young is sinkable, if not in this election, then the next.
Young, 67, also will face Anna Young, the Green Party of Alaska candidate who received 20 percent of the open vote in the primary; Jim Dore, a part-time aircraft mechanic from Anchorage, who got 16 percent on the Alaskan Independence Party ticket; and Len Karpinski, head of the Libertarian Party in Alaska, who got about 5 percent.
Young, R-Alaska, ranks 16th in seniority among House Republicans. He is chairman of the House Resources Committee and is poised to take over the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure if Republicans retain control of the House.
Young received nearly three times as many votes in the primary as Greene, who won 33 percent of the vote in the open primary.
Young has had nearly $1 million for campaign spending at his disposal.
Greene, 46, has never held political office. He has raised about $200 for his campaign, including in-kind contributions. He's spent about the same amount out of his own pocket.
His strategy will be to try and win the mock election for high school students starting Oct. 23. The results will be announced about a week before the election.
''If I can win that mock election, I think that would be a great boost to my campaign,'' Greene said. He will be sending a letter to youth organizations asking for support.
Greene said he didn't ask the local Democratic Party for financial help because leaders made it clear early on they wouldn't provide any. He asked the national party for a few hundred dollars so that he could include his campaign information in the Division of Elections pamphlet sent to all registered voters, but was told no.
''That is a big setback for me,'' said Greene, who is running on a platform that includes national health care, affordable housing and a revision of the War Powers Act.
Greene had hoped to raise $5,000 for his ''Wave of Democracy'' tour, with stops in Juneau, Bethel, Nome, Fairbanks and Anchorage. A lack of money cut it short after a Juneau appearance.
Chris Cooke, chairman of the Alaska Democratic Party, said party officials consider whether a candidate is credible, the campaign is viable and the incumbent is vulnerable before allocating party money.
''Don Young and his entrenched position has not been moved,'' Cooke said. ''It just seems like this year no major or established political figure has decided to take on that challenge.''
As of early August, Young had brought in $940,625 -- more than half of it from political action committees -- and spent $629,844, leaving him $324,345, according to Federal Election Commission reports.
Not all has been spent on his own campaign. As a leading Republican, Young is obligated to help his colleagues with their campaigns, said Steve Dougherty, Young's campaign manager.
''This not only takes his time, but campaign resources,'' Dougherty said, in a written response to some questions.
He said Young has not been able to campaign in Alaska as he would have liked because Congress remains in session.
Anna Young, 54, of Seward, has raised $3,200 in donations, mostly from selling T-shirts she designed. She is a former Cordova gillnetter who remains angry about the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. Not only did the spill destroy her livelihood, but Alaska fishermen now are embroiled in a long legal battle to be justly compensated, she said.
She accuses Alaska's elected politicians of caving into ''big money'' and practically giving away the state's valuable oil and gas reserves, while asking for little in return in the way of environmental protection.
''We need to get control of our government,'' Young said. ''I think the whole oil business in Alaska is a lie.''
Young said her candidacy was hurt when Democrats and Republicans refused to let Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader into the debates.
''It is really hard to get the word out,'' she said. ''I think it hurt a lot not to have more publicity for the Green Party.''
Dore, 49, describes himself as ''pro-gun, pro-life.'' He favors severely cutting back the federal budget.
Dore said he brought in only about $300 in campaign donations, making it nearly impossible for him to get his position across. While he knows his chances of defeating Young are not good, there's always next time, he said. Dore previously ran as a Republican against Young in the 1996 and 1998 primaries.
''I don't see myself as a pessimistic guy... Anything can happen,'' Dore said. ''The voters can turn things around real quick on you.''
Karpinski, 43, says he would abolish the federal income tax, end the war on drugs and curb the power of the president and federal government. He has brought in about $1,000 in campaign donations.
''It is going along slowly,'' he said of his campaign. ''I didn't plan too much.''
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