Alaskans Scramble For Chance To Take Over Don Young's Congressional Seat

APRIL FOOLS DAY  Deadline For Signing Up To Run For U.S. Congressional Seat In Alaska Is April 1st  In The Last Frontier, People Used To Com...

APRIL FOOLS DAY 

Deadline For Signing Up To Run For U.S. Congressional Seat In Alaska Is April 1st 

In The Last Frontier, People Used To Come Out Of Nowhere & Become High Politicans 


There's a mad rush on right now for the empty seat left by the sudden death of Alaska Congressman Don Young.
 
Young died on March 18th, 2022, after a 49-year stint at the job. He was reelected 24 times, and showed dramatically how gaining a job in Congress can be almost like being named to the Supreme Court: It can very easily turn out to be for life.
 
The state will be holding a series of elections to replace Don Young. And a variety of Alaskans, using a new form of open-ended voting, are eager to participate and sign on to get a chance in the upcoming scramble to win this lottery – by running for his seat.
 
Until April 1st, under new laws, just about anybody can join in the fray and get a chance at being elected. This isn't lost on would-be politicians, who are rapidly stepping forward to throw their hats into the ring. The number and variety of people wanting Don Young's empty seat as the lone "Congressman For All Alaska" is a subject of news stories right now, as one after another comes forward before the April 1st signup deadline. 
 
Alaska is a small state, with very few residents. But Alaskans tend, as a group, to feel they're as qualified as anybody else to hold a spot in government, no matter how lofty.
 
The final list hasn't come in yet, but so far, there's been talk of a number of political types, including Sarah Palin, Nick Begich III, John Coghill and Al Gross. Even Jeff Lowenfels (who most people know best for his ADN tips on mulching, aphids and spring planting) is among many others in the line up. Some are small town politicians already. Others are not that well known. 
 
There's a reason almost any Alaskan feels competent to serve. We've seen it before. 

This is the kind of state where (as Wally Hickel did) you can arrive with 37 cents in your pocket and your main bragging qualification for going on to become Governor is that you weighed only 142 lbs. when you won a Golden Glove boxing championship.
 
This is the kind of state where you can rise (as Jay Hammond did) to being Governor after years as a rugged, bearded "Alaskan" bush pilot on a wild, wilderness lake. 
 
This is the kind of state where (as Don Young did) your background can consist of running a barge on the Yukon River, delivering supplies to villages, and teaching 5th grade at a BIA elementary school. 

People would like to think you can still come out of nowhere and become a U.S. Congressman — for  the rest of your life. We in Alaska have our very own Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes and one lucky Alaskan is guaranteed to win. 

It may not be as easy as it was any more. Politics now involves money. 

Yet hope springs eternal. When the dust settles after this April Fools Day (the deadline for signing up), Alaskans will be presented with a large final lineup of people to choose from in a brand new free-for-all system of voting, where the top four candidates – whoever they might be – go on to the next round, like the first-round winners of a national TV singing contest. 

In Alaska, our Congressman is the only Congressman. But many states have a big enough population base to warrant more than one Congressman. The huge state of California has 53 Congressmen. Texas has 36. Only Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming have one.  

There are a total of 435 members of Congress in the United States. 




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