Politics & Government

Alaska state lawmaker to challenge Rep. Don Young

Anchorage state Rep. Harry Crawford will attempt next fall to do what no other Democrat has managed in 36 years of trying: defeat Alaska Republican Congressman Don Young.

Crawford filed with the Division of Elections today to run against Young, Alaska's lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 1973. Crawford said he knows it won't be easy to defeat the entrenched incumbent.

"I understand what I'm doing here," Crawford said, throwing in one of his most quoted sayings in the Legislature: "I knew it was a snake when I picked it up."

Crawford said he's running because he's tired of waiting to see movement on getting resources to market, such as drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and a natural gas pipeline to the Lower 48. Crawford, whose background is as a union ironworker, said he'd try to forge an alliance with members of Congress from steel-producing states that stand to benefit from Alaska development.

"(Young) has a certain style that everybody's well aware of, and I don't believe it has worked very well," Crawford said. "Now he's no longer in the majority, no longer in a position of power. The Democrats are in power now, and I believe that I have a record of working well with both parties."

Young's campaign did not respond to a request for comment on Crawford's challenge.

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