Alaska Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka today issued the following statement regarding the death of Rep. Don Young:
"Don Young will always be an absolute giant in Alaska and there will never be another like him. He came here in 1959, just after statehood, meaning that Congressman Young's history here is nearly as long as the history of Alaska itself. I credit him with getting me fully engrossed in politics and public service, as his race in 1994 was the first campaign of significance I ever volunteered for. In fact, I proudly wore my Don Young t-shirt to school, which caused some strong reactions from other students, making me even more sure that I was indeed a strong Republican. At his victory party that year, I got to hold the 'Congratulations, Mr. Chairman' sign we had made, because he was set to be the chairman of the Natural Resources Committee in the next Congress. The last time I saw Congressman Young, at an event last year, I told him that story and he was pleased to know that he'd had an influence on a high school kid interested in public service. Don Young was as Alaskan as anyone I've ever known, and he will be sorely missed by us all."