It’s get-rich-quick fever for the 21st century in Alaska: The race for U.S. Congress feels like the Gold Rush in 1898, with seemingly everyone in the political realm dipping their pans in the stream to see what may glitter for them.
The Division of Elections website was busy Friday, the final day for filing for the seat left vacant by the late Congressman Don Young. Dozens of people have filed to fill the seat of the late Congressman Don Young, but only a few of them had been interested in the seat or had the courage to file before Young died: former Gov. Sarah Palin, Chris Constant, Nick Begich, Chris Bye, Gregg Brelsford, and a couple of others who had filed months ago, when Young was very much alive and very much “in it to win it.”
The New York Times broke the news about Palin. Must Read Alaska has not been able to confirm this news independently.
“Sarah Palin, a former Alaska governor and the Republican nominee for vice president in 2008, said Friday that she was entering the race for Alaska’s lone congressional seat, marking her return to national politics after she helped revive the anti-establishment rhetoric that has come to define the Republican Party.
She will be joining a crowded field of nearly 40 candidates to fill the House seat left vacant by Representative Don Young, whose unexpected death last month has spurred one of the largest political shifts in the state in 50 years.
“Ms. Palin said she planned to honor Mr. Young’s legacy, painting a dystopian picture of the nation in crisis, criticizing the “radical left,” high gas prices, inflation and illegal immigration.
“America is at a tipping point,” she said in the statement. “As I’ve watched the far left destroy the country, I knew I had to step up and join the fight.”
Santa Claus, who serves on the North Pole City Council and who used to have a different name, filed early on Friday. Later on, former Rep. Andrew Halcro, current Rep. Adam Wool jumped in, and Sen. Josh Revak made it official. Tara Sweeney, a Native leader who used to work for Sen. Lisa Murkowski and was an official at the Department of Interior (as head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.) Both Sweeney and Revak were co-chairs of the Don Young campaign before he died. Alaska Native elder Emil Notti is reported to have filed; he lost to Don Young in 1973 in the special election to replace the first Congressman Nick Begich; Notti is 89.
By 4:30 pm Friday there were more than 40 listed on the Division of Elections website, where a special tab is set up for the list of want-to-be congressional representatives.
The unverified press release said to be sent by the Palin campaign is still leaving a question in the minds of many Alaskans: Is this an April Fools Day joke?