Political powerhouse Don Young easily wins re-election to House

Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Political powerhouse U.S. Rep. Don Young was returned to Congress for a 15th term in Tuesday's general election, winning by a wide margin over a slate of political novices.

With more than 60 percent of precincts reporting, Young had more than 70 percent of the vote. Democratic rival Clifford Greene 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, who ran on a platform that included national health care, affordable housing and a revision of the War Powers Act, said he was disappointed and probably won't run again.

''I knew it would be a longshot 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. Two years before that, Young got nearly 60 percent of the vote against Democratic challenger state Sen. Georgianna Lincoln.

''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 from Ketchikan who has never held elective office. Green received 33 percent of the vote in the open primary, which didn't include Republican candidates.

Young said if Republicans retain control of the House, his prospects of heading the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure also 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.

Young said in the next term he would focus on bringing more infrastructure to Alaska, enforcing the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and upgrading the Coast Guard.

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.

Bob Och of Anchorage said Young got his vote.

''I've been a Republican for a million years. Usually I just vote Republican all the way down the ticket,'' he said.

Anna Young said the campaign was a great opportunity to heighten environmental awareness around the state.

''I think the campaign went well. I think the Green Party got more formed in Alaska,'' she said.



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