It’s almost certain that former Congressman Don Young would have voted for Rep. Kevin McCarthy as Speaker. McCarthy squeaked by with 216 votes in the midnight hour of Friday night, after 15 rounds of voting were conducted in the U.S. House of Representatives over the course of four days.
More than a year ago, Rep. Young was a defender of McCarthy’s eventual rise to the Speaker’s Office. Back then, McCarthy was the leader of the Republican minority in the House, and Nancy Pelosi was Speaker.
Young, in an interview with The Washington Post in December of 2021, dismissed the Freedom Caucus in the House, who were already talking about blocking McCarthy, of Bakersfield California, from being elected Speaker if the Republicans won the majority in 2022.
“Show me anybody else can do the job better than he can,” Young said to a reporter. He also criticized the Freedom Caucus members who wanted to punish Young and 12 other Republicans for voting for an infrastructure bill that year. “These guys shooting their mouth off are just not really thinking very well.”
Young’s successor, Rep. Mary Peltola, voted against McCarthy 15 times over the course of four days this week, casting her vote instead for radical Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who called Donald Trump a fake president who had won office only because of Russian interference. Trump handily won both of his elections with Alaska voters, and Trump endorsed McCarthy for Speaker.
Although Peltola ran on the promise that she would honor the legacy of Congressman Young, it’s clear she has her own path, a distinct agenda, and loyalty to the Democratic Party and the lobbyists who helped her win.
Peltola, while voting for Hakeem Jeffries for Speaker, sent out a campaign-style mailer at taxpayer expense this week:
Alaska, with just one member of Congress, is now represented by a member of the minority party in the House for at least the next two years.
Peltola ranks 358 out of 434 elected members in terms of seniority, down in the 18% range, and in her own political party she ranks 178th in seniority, which puts her in the bottom 16%. Only 35 Democrats in the House have less seniority than Peltola, due to her having won the special election to replace Congressman Young in August, ahead of the Nov. 8 regular election, during which Alaska voters chose her over the Republicans on the ballot.