10 candidates file to fill Don Young’s unexpired term as deadline looms

People at the Division of Elections double-check voter information on August 25, 2020 in Juneau, Alaska. (Rashah McChesney/KTOO)

Ten candidates have filed to fill the unexpired term of the late U.S. Rep. Don Young, and at least two more have indicated they would make it official before Friday’s filing deadline.

The seat became vacant when the 88-year-old Young, the longest-ever serving Republican in the U.S. House, died March 18. He had been in office since 1973.

Nick Begich III said he filed his paperwork Wednesday for both the special election to fill the remainder of Young’s current term and the regular election.

Those who have officially filed include Brian Beal, Gregg Brelsford, Chris Bye, John Coghill, Ted Heintz, Bill Hibler, Bob Lyons, J.R. Myers and Stephen Wright. Bye and Myers are Libertarians, while Coghill, Lyons and Wright are Republicans. The others have not declared a party.

Democrat Christopher Constant, an Anchorage Assembly member, and Al Gross, an independent who unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in 2020, also have said they intend to run.

A special primary and special election will decide who completes the current House term. Candidates face a Friday deadline to file with the state Division of Elections to run in the special primary, set for June 11. The top four vote-getters in the special primary will advance to an Aug. 16 special election, in which ranked choice voting will be used. This is in line with a new elections system approved by voters in 2020.

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