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Longest-serving member of the US House gets another term

November 7, 2018
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In this photo taken Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, Alaska Republican U.S. Rep. Don Young speaks at a rally for GOP candidates in Anchorage, Alaska. Young, who has held Alaska's lone U.S. House seat since 1973, faces a challenge in Tuesday's general election from independent Alyse Galvin. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Rep. Don Young, the longest-serving member of the U.S. House, has won a 24th term.

Young, 85, defeated political newcomer Alyse Galvin Tuesday for Alaska’s sole seat in the U.S. House.

Galvin was attempting to become the first woman to hold the seat and join a host of new Democratic members of the U.S. House. Galvin is an independent but said she would have caucused with the Democrats.

Young said he was a little surprised by the margin of victory.

“We got more votes this time than we got before, and everybody had me down,” he told The Associated Press.

“I feel real good about our campaign, and we were able to prove that Alaskans appreciate what I’ve been able to do,” he said. “I’m going to have a good two years ahead of us.”

“We poured our hearts into this campaign and we’ve done so much more than people thought was possible,” she told supports as results came in.

Young was first elected in 1973. The Republican has dispatched 23 opponents in his congressional career, which has spanned presidencies from Richard Nixon to Donald Trump.

He said his experience is key to getting things done for Alaska in Congress and that Galvin, if she had been elected, would start at the bottom of the seniority list.

Galvin, making her first run for political office, says Young was once an effective representative but those days are gone. The state was ready for new leadership, she said.

The race turned ornery at times, with Young accusing Galvin of being nasty toward him and Galvin accusing him of hurting her hand with a post-debate handshake.

She called that a “cheap bullying” trick. He claims she staged it to make him appear too aggressive.

After a subsequent debate, Young walked out of the TV studio without speaking to her.

“I don’t acknowledge her because very frankly, I don’t believe she can do the job, and why should I acknowledge somebody who tried to stage something for publicity?” he said.

Galvin says people are tired of Young’s off-the-cuff remarks.

“Alaskans really want to get out of that business of name calling,” she said. Instead, they want to focus on issues like living wages, affordable health care, growing small businesses and combatting rising crime.

On Tuesday, Young got the vote of Anchorage resident Lauren Agee, a registered Republican. There was no overriding issue for her support for Young, she said.

“Just history, I guess. He’s just been there a while,” she said. “I was pretty much raised Republican, so I just kind of went with what I know.”

Kris Abel of Anchorage cast his vote Tuesday for Galvin with a big goal on his mind: Flipping the House to favor Democrats. Abel, a Democrat, wants to put more congressional reins on President Donald Trump.

“That’d be one of the main reasons to flip the House, is to have some checks on Mr. Trump,” said Abel. “He’s running amok.”

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For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

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