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Revak to file for Congress to replace Don Young

State Sen. Josh Revak, a Republican legislator from Anchorage, leaked to a leftwing blogger on Wednesday that he is running for the seat left empty by Congressman Don Young, who passed last week. Revak sees himself as the heir apparent to the position, and he has the support of many D.C. lobbyists who often darkened the congressman’s door.

If Revak files, it will be the second time in his 8-year political career that he will have filed for a seat of someone who died in office.

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For the past four months, Revak has been the co-chair of the Alaskans for Don Young campaign.

He will face Nick Begich, the previous co-chair of Alaskans for Don Young in the 2020 cycle, when Young was challenged by Alyse Galvin.

Revak first ran against Rep. Charisse Millett in 2016 and won the Republican primary, continuing on to win in the general election for House District 25. After the death of Anchorage Sen. Chris Birch, Revak was temporarily appointed to the Senate in 2019 by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, and ran for the Senate Seat M in 2020. He won.

“This is very new, and my focus is on his wishes and the wishes of his family, in terms of his legacy and in terms of honoring him,” said Revak, speaking to the Anchorage Daily News. “We’ll think about other stuff later.”

While publicly Revak is saying that he is not running, he has been calling leaders across Alaska and asking for their support. But he has hurdles: If he runs, he cannot raise money for a congressional race, as he is a sitting legislator and the Legislature is in session; state law prohibits it. He would need to resign in order to mount a successful campaign, or slip far behind in fundraising, unless the entire campaign is to be run by the D.C. lobbyist oligarchy, which could raise money and run a campaign on his behalf.

A question remains as to whether Revak can run for both his Senate seat and run for the congressional seat, effectively showing up in two places on the ballot for the District he now represents.

Last week, Revak damaged his own reputation on the day of Congressman Young’s passing, lashing out at Must Read Alaska‘s Suzanne Downing for publishing a story about the congressman’s death. He called Downing the “biggest piece of human waste on the planet.”

Revak may be under the impression that Congressman Young wanted him to take his place some day. It was common for Congressman Young to tell young people that they were his choice as his heir apparent, and it was his longtime strategy for keeping Republicans from running against him. He also said those words to Nick Begich in 2020, and at least one other Anchorage Republican, who has asked to remain anonymous.

Others who may join the race include Al Gross, who has told people close to him that he intends to run. His campaign website for his 2020 Senate race has been recently locked. The last time it was visible was on March 21, when it was last archived in the WayBack Machine.

Al Gross locked his campaign site down after March 21.

Gross, who claims his residence in Petersburg, is officially registered as having no party affiliation. He has been in Thailand until recently, returning home upon learning of Young’s passing. Gross ran as a nonpartisan in 2020 with the endorsement of the Democratic Party, including the national Democrats. He was caught on tape saying that he identified as a Democrat and would caucus with the Democrats.

But complicating Gross’ path is that another Democrat has stepped up and announced he is running for Congress — Anchorage Assemblyman Chris Constant.

Former Gov. Sarah Palin has said she is interested in running.

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. Another politician looking for a life-long career in DC. He has very little name recognition amongst statewide voters. Most people have never even heard of him.
    NB3 all the way.

  2. Josh Revak is a sleaze bag. He surrounds himself with the same types. He is a sexist-pretend-to-be leader; yet, his reputation is to say one thing and then do the opposite. He can’t be trusted. He is a professional politician that’ll say anything, do anything to get ahead. It’s funny that the DC lobbyists picked this clown. However, when you think about it, of course they would like Revak, he’ll be their pet concierge who delights in serving the special interests.

    • EXACTLY! Some years ago, when I called Young’s Anchorage office to request for help with VA-related concern, I ended up speaking with Revak. The closer it got to 5:00 p.m. on that day, the less interested he was in continuing the telephone conversation. Just before 5:00 p.m., he decided I was not worth his time so he hung up the phone! There was no notice or apology or suggestion that we continue the conversation at a different time. He just HUNG UP!

      My advice: DO NOT VOTE FOR REVAK! He is a real jerk and there are already far too many like him in Congress now.

  3. Let me see if I’m getting things straight. I read in the newspaper that Revak is talking about it being a time to grieve and be respectful to Don Young’s family, not for jockeying for political position. Then, I hear he’s running for Young’s seat and making calls looking for support. What a two-faced fool. Revak must be as dumb as a box of rocks.

  4. Isn’t Revak one of the guys who promised to support a full PFD and then flipped to being against it? Sorry, this independent voter doesn’t vote for liars.

    • Yep. He’s the guy that elbowed Laddie Shaw out of that senate seat appointment, promising a full PFD while being Giessel’s pet the whole time. This guy is SLIME.

  5. During his last campaign he stopped by my neighborhood for some campaigning. As we spoke at the end of my driveway, I wondered what his face mask was for. It was then I realized it was to catch all the nonsense he spoke from both sides of his mouth. The shameless RINO will never get my vote.

  6. The same guy who pledged to protect the PFD and was forced to admit he changed his mind?

    No only no, but F no.

    Revak is everything wrong with Alaska politics.

  7. The article says, “Revak sees himself as the heir apparent to the position, and he has the support of many D.C. lobbyists who often darkened the congressman’s door.” Well there you have it; I guess the DC establishment sees him as a good fit so we need to submit to their expectations….

  8. This is exactly why Don should have retired three terms ago. He could have publicly chosen a successor.

    Instead he hung on and on until it was too late. Now every political lady of the evening is running for his office, increasing the odds that someone like Al Gross gets elected.

    This election will speak volumes about who and what we are as a people.

  9. Suzanne, I went back and read your posting , Don Young has Passed, I am scratching my head as to how Revak could take such offense to that story? At best he appears to be reacting to some other issue, not expressed herein. My take away is that this fellow is ill suited to represent me at any level. In fact in the working man’s vernacular this Josh is a Dumb—. Feel free to contact me Mr. Revak if you wish to continue this discussion.
    BTW, for what it is worth, I think you are doing a wonderful Job and I support you in this endeavor.

  10. I knew that Josh Revak was a Rino the moment he was handpicked over Laddie Shaw by the senate majority and then senate leader Cathy Giessel to take over Chris Birch Seat. Backroom deals were probably made thats why he was chosen. This was when he broke his promise to defend the full PFD. He is a sellout for his own political gain here in Alaska, So I’m confident he’ll fit right in with The D.C swamp.

  11. Left unexplained here is just why Mr. Revak chose to call Suzanne Downing “a piece of human waste”. What was in your post announcing Don Young’s death, Suzanne, that was supposedly so wrong, and that apparently so upset Mr. Revak?

  12. “Revak was temporarily appointed to the Senate in 2019 by Gov. Mike Dunleavy”

    Now you know who Dunleavy is….

    If you want to win the war, you have to get rid of the generals that are the traitors….even if it means the other side wins the seat. You have to clean your house out by every means necessary or your traitors will use their political power to defeat you. They are willing to let democrats win if your person wins the primary and so must you be willing to let the democrats win if the traitors win the primary.

    • Dunleavy originally picked Laddie Shaw but Cathy Geisel blocked his nomination. The GOP then forwarded Revaks name to replace him and Dunleavy appointed him.

  13. Revak doesn’t have a prayer. The only thing he’ll get in this special election is the praise of a fool. And maybe that’s what this idiot wants.

  14. I called and left a voice message. Basically said, Run Josh Run! Resign from your Senate seat so Mike can appoint a real conservative who will NOT be a hack to Sens. Bert Stedman and Natasha von Imhof!

    Run Josh Run, so that you get tromped on by Nick and we can show that voters despise socialists and RINOs as one in the same!

    BTW, heard yesterday that Al Gross ran for his hospital’s board, he came in fourth! Even his own fellow Docs know him for what he is!
    As to Sarah Palin, she is all talk no action. Did the same with the Senate and nothing.

    • Why did you hear about it yesterday when it happened nearly six months ago and a story appeared on this site at the time? I did a bare minimum of reading beyond that story and believe you may be misled about the position by virtue of your reference to “fellow Docs”. That hospital board is a publicly-elected office of the Petersburg Borough, residents there have been worried in recent years about maintaining local ownership and control of the facility, and sentiment among voters didn’t favor the idea that Al Gross actually lives in Petersburg.

  15. Just what we need, another short-fused irrational kid with “impulse control issues” ruining other people’s lives.

    No thank you, sonny, keep up with your meetings, and sort your personal life out first– then we can talk.

  16. Suzanne, Sorry to hear that you endured a totally inappropriate language from Revak. WE EXPECT BETTER from an elected representative in Alaska!! You are a kind, gentle truth-teller who promotes conservatism in the best possible way here in Alaska and it’s my privilege to have made your acquaintance!! PS I read MRA daily without fail!! John H Slone

      • Were they men who slept with women who’d transitioned to men? If so, what would you call the biological man in this case, would he be homosexual or would he be heterosexual, given the (fake) man he was sleeping with was actually a biological woman? That in my view would make the biological man a fake homosexual, so I suppose the correct term would be confused non-committal-not so gay (Lord help me keep up with all this crap when I’m 80).

  17. For Mr. Revak: What you said about Suzanne being the biggest piece of human waste on the planet is not only one of the most undignified things you could say, it shows me your character. Remember when you point a finger, 3 fingers are pointing back to you. I wouldn’t vote for you if my life depended on it. GO NICK BEGICH

  18. Poor judgment at the very least. Can someone shed light on exactly what in that Don Young article caused Revak to post something like that? Suzanne? I’m not looking to excuse him; I’m just curious. Thanks.

  19. Now isn’t the best time for a Revak to be alienating himself from Republicans. Just as the gop, he going to need all the help he can get. Knowing rich d.c lobbyists isn’t the main reason why Don Young continued as long as he did. Dissing suzanne was not bright of him. I expected better from someone supposedly who doesn’t drink alcohol. So we have young King David, Nick Begich, mama bear Sarah Palin, who else is there to take on wilderness Revak?

    • Oops! Elvi is running for other office. Considering the congress candidate line-up she looks better place for this office. Kelly and lisa are too strong for elvi.

  20. I do not know the reason for Senator Revak’s outburst against Suzanne. Part of me does not want to know. That said, the nature of his comment indicates a very thin skin and lack of maturity. These qualities are not a good part of a candidate’s resume. In general: An aspiring candidate for Congress should not obscenely attack anyone, particularly in print. An adult would have, as the late Mayor Tom Fink told me, let a lot of stuff just roll off his back.

  21. “Revak sees himself as the heir apparent to the position, and he has the support of many D.C. lobbyists who often darkened the congressman’s door” This one sentence disqualifies him as far as I’m concerned!

  22. Revak is a liar and a thief and a complete joke! No way a little weasel like that can fill Don Young’s shoes!

  23. 1. I dread more of Al Gross’ bear story.

    2. Is Mr. Constant required to resign from the Anchorage assembly to run a campaign?

  24. Josh Revak is my Senator and represents our district. I have given him money and attended neighborhood fundraisers giving him my time and attention. I observed a few things quietly, not the least of which was his flip on the PFD. But to see this language about another human being: ‘biggest piece of human waste on the planet’ — in print from Josh Revak tells me all I need to know. Perhaps you were drunk, Josh. Perhaps you had a bad day? But I don’t think there is anything that excuses that level of dismissive, mean and arrogant speech. Thank you for letting me make up my mind so easily about who you are.

  25. The kindest thing we can do is recognize the wealth of work files Don Young has possessed. This history cannot be lost. Senator Stevens legacy was coordinated very decently and Alaska was thankful. Perhaps secure office space can be set up so discrete, professional cataloging and indexing can quietly, respectfully and professionally be supported for research projects and in remembrance of Congressman Young’s life’s work of files shipped to Alaska due to the disarray at the federal level. We have space here in Alaska. There will a need for legal advice, secure storage and a transitional effort assembled.

  26. It would be nice to hear about an actual Republican with actual Republican values running for this office.

  27. Revak? Not the kind of behavior one would associate with an Alaska Representative with designs on the national stage. But, as my granny used to say, pigs squeal the loudest just before they’re slaughtered.

    Suzanne – keep up the good work. I love your ‘Joe Friday Nothing But the Facts’ approach to journalism. And I appreciate the thoroughness of your articles.

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