Instead of a Democrat challenger, possibly Steve Lindbeck as reported in the ADN, what we need in Alaska’s race for our lone congressman is viable Republican one.
I have three simple reasons:
- Don is not immortal.
- November has coattails.
- Running for an open seat later will be harder.
Look, we know the inevitable. In deference to Don Young, whom we have loved for good or ill and for many, many years, I think even he would welcome a strong Republican challenger to win and replace him. It would secure his conservative legacy and give the next Alaska Congressman (or woman) a step up (having taken on the giant, so to speak, and prevailed; a little like Murkowski’s notorious write-in victory that gave her bragging rights).
If his seat becomes an open seat, a Democrat challenger is no longer a challenger. Instead, it’s a head to head race which are much more difficult to win in the general.
Because this is another pendulum year, maybe one of the last few in a row for Republicans, doesn’t it makes the most sense to go into a head-to-head race for Alaska’s lone congress seat now?
Currently, the Republican voter pool is swelled, due to the incredible turnout at their recent preference poll. The presidential race is leaning right, which will lend a new Republican candidate the coattails effect.
Thus, it would behoove Republicans in the state to consider running a viable Republican against him in the primary race this year.
Remember in 2008, Sean Parnell almost knocked Don out in the primary. After a hair-breather recount, a mere 304 votes ( 0.003% ) kept our lone Congressman from losing his legacy seat. That was a pendulum year for Dems, which would have made Parnell’s general race tight. This year is different, the Republicans are favored.
Don’t get me wrong. I have been happy with Don Young in office. He is a strong conservative. He represents Alaska well. He has valiantly fought for us and has clout down there.
Still, I want to prepare for the future. Republicans in Alaska have an opportunity this season to join the rest of the nation and send a new exciting Congress man or woman to help reface the game in Washington, D.C., for years to come.
Eugene Harnett, APEonline editor