True to his word, Congressman Don Young filed for re-election yesterday in Anchorage. If successful in November, 2018, he would serve an historic 24th term, and would become the longest-serving Republican in Congress in U.S. history.
Young, from Fort Yukon, Alaska, moved to Alaska before Statehood and was a commercial fisherman, trapper, and gold miner. He also taught Native students at a Bureau of Indian Affairs log-constructed school. He captained his own tug-and-barge operation and delivered supplies along the Yukon River. He is the only licensed mariner in Congress to this day.
He was elected mayor of Fort Yukon in 1964. In 1966 he was elected to the State House, where he served for two terms, before being elected to the State Senate in 1970.
In 1973 he became Congressman for Alaska, and led the battle for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Don and Lu Young were married for 46 years before she died in 2009. On June 9, 2015 he married Anne Garland Walton, a Fairbanks-area nurse.
Young recently saw his 78th piece of legislation become law. That is HJR 69, which overturned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife rule that took game management away from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on federal refuge land. He has introduced more than 1,000 bills since taking office in 1973.
In June, Young will turn 84 years old. A lifelong Republican, he won with 50.3 percent of the vote during his last election in 2016 in a four-way race that included Libertarian Jim McDermott, (1o.3 percent), Democrat Steve Lindbeck (36 percent), and Independent Bernie Souphanavong (3 percent).