WASHINGTON — Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, continues to hold a money advantage in the race to keep the congressional seat he's held since 1973.
That's despite slower fundraising than in his 2008 race, when he had more than $1.5 million in the bank. So far this year, Young has raised $137,843, bringing his total fundraising this election cycle to $543,067.
Filing for the Aug. 24 primary doesn't close until June 1, and for now, Young faces only Republican Sheldon Fisher. The Anchorage lawyer raised $31,891 this year. He has $55,362 in his campaign war chest, including $50,000 of his own money he loaned the campaign.
The lone Democrat in the race so far, state Rep. Harry Crawford, has raised $104,190. Of that, $21,217 was raised this quarter. Crawford has $55,362 in his campaign account.
Young has $272,865 on hand — still a far cry from his 2008 fundraising. But campaign spokeswoman Pam Day said they consider the race "a marathon, not a sprint."
Young's fundraising included a letter sent to former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens' past supporters. Those Stevens contributors got a letter from the former senator asking for their support of Young. The one-time use by Young's campaign of the Stevens contributor list cost $18.95.
For the second quarter in a row, Young didn't use his campaign account to pay for legal fees connected to a federal criminal probe of his fundraising and other matters. Day, who also serves as chief of staff in Young's congressional office, said she had no new information about the federal investigation.
Since early 2007, Young has spent $1.2 million from his campaign fund on legal bills related to the Alaska political corruption investigation, as well as a probe into Young's connection to an earmark that benefited a Florida campaign contributor.