Congressman Don Young made shaking hands with him cool during the last election, with a shirt that said, “I shook Don Young’s hand and survived.” It was a poke at his opponent, Alyse Galvin, who famously grimaced and said “Owww!” after a debate with Young, when the two shook hands. She felt the octogenarian’s grip was too hard.
Plenty of people since that debate have asked Young if they could shake his hand, and there were even drama contests at Young fundraisers to see who could fake the most pained look on their faces.
For the congressional election coming up in 2022, Young is leaning on his trademark bolo tie, with a new t-shirt that his fans can buy to show their support for the Dean of the House — the longest serving representative in Congress.
This t-shirt will definitely be a keepsake, no matter what the outcome of his 26th campaign season. Young was first elected during a special election in 1973, after the plane carrying Rep. Nick Begich went missing on a flight from Anchorage to Juneau.
Young is rarely seen without a bolo tie — sometimes ivory, sometimes beaded by his daughter. The shirts can be procured at: https://secure.winred.com/alaskans-for-don-young-inc/bolo