Q. Gabe would like to know: How many congressional representatives do you have?
A. Well, you’d think, Gabe, with such a vast state we’d have a lot, eh? but since it goes by population, we only have one. He is a good one though!
Don Young has represented us in Congress for the past 32 years! His popularity has not diminished either, since in the 2004 election he received the largest # of popular votes for a single candidate in Alaska.
As a boy Don loved books by Jack London, especially Call of the Wild, and that fueled his desire to come to the Last Frontier. I know that feeling. That’s how we ended up in Alaska. We happened upon an Alaska shelf in the Alice, Tx public library!
Don Young came to Alaska in 1959 working construction and then commercial fishing and trapping. He made his home on the Yukon River at Ft. Yukon, a remote village of 700 people, located 7 miles above the arctic circle. He taught 5th grade at a Bureau of Indian affairs school. It was a log school, with a wood burning stove. In the summer he captained his own tugboat and barge service, taking supplies to villages up and down the Yukon. He even panned for gold, but says his best ‘gold strike’ was his wife Lu, who has ever since supported his endeavors and gave him two wonderful daughters, who produced 10 grandchildren. So, Alaska has been good to him.
Don started his political career when he was elected Mayor of Ft. Yukon in about 1964. Two years later, he was elected to the state legislature where he served from 1966 to 1970. Then in 1970-1973 he was a state senator. He was first sworn in to the 93rd congress after being elected in a special election on March 6, 1973 And the rest, as they say is history.
Don Young’s first job in the U. S. congress was to lead the battle for the trans Alaska pipeline, which has meant so much to the Alaskan economy. He has also done a lot for the native peoples of our state. Write me again sometime, Gabe. -BJ