Gov. Sean Parnell:
Governor Sean Parnell expressed deep sympathy for the victims of Monday's plane crash in Southwest Alaska.
"All who were aboard the flight and their families, friends and colleagues are in our thoughts and prayers," Governor Parnell said. "As Alaskans, we grieve for those who were lost and extend our comfort and condolences to their loved ones."
Former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens was among those killed in the crash near Dillingham.
"Senator Stevens' life was dedicated to Alaska and her people, and he will be remembered for his untiring efforts to build the 49th state over his many decades of public service," Governor Parnell said. "Known as the ‘Lion of the Senate,' he was also a distinguished patriot dedicating his life to America and constitutional principles. Senator Stevens was a father, a grandfather, a husband, and a personal friend to countless Alaskans. We will miss him greatly."
Governor Sean Parnell has ordered state and U.S. flags (per public law 94-344) to be lowered to half-staff today in honor and memory of Senator Stevens. The U.S. flag will be raised to full-staff Thursday morning, while state flags will remain lowered until sunrise the day following the senator's memorial service.
Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell:
My heart goes out to the family of former Senator Ted Stevens. Ted was a personal friend for over 20 years and Anne Marie and I will miss him. Our Alaska family joins the Stevens family in mourning one of our greatest statesmen, advocates and leaders. He was a tour de force in life and will be greatly missed by all those that knew and admired him. I also offer my sincerest condolences to all those lost in the crash and their families, as well as the survivors. No words can express our grief and we all share in your loss.
Senate President Gary Stevens:
It is truly a sad day for Alaska, and for the nation, with the untimely death of Senator Stevens. As a man who dedicated his life to public service, from the fight for statehood and for 50 years beyond, Ted Stevens stands out as an Alaskan icon. We in the Alaska Legislature were privileged a few years ago to honor Senator Stevens as ‘the Alaskan of the Century,' based on those decades of work he put it to build our state, and I think, while that is certainly a superlative, it says it all.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Senator Stevens' family - and to all the victims' families - and while we can take some comfort in the recognition that he lived a full, fruitful and productive life, it was too short and he will be missed.
House Speaker Mike Chenault:
Ted Stevens was a lion of a man who meant more to this state and how we got to where we are today than, I think, many of us will ever really know. I had tremendous respect for the senator, who served us passionately, and well, for four decades. On behalf of the Alaska State House of Representatives I offer our condolences and prayers to the Stevens family and for all those affected by the tragedy in Western Alaska. We are thankful to the good Samaritans, the Coast Guard, the Alaska National Guard, and the Alaska State Troopers for their efforts in assisting in the response and caring for the survivors. Senator Stevens' devotion to our state will undoubtedly have an impact on not only our generation but for future generations of Alaskans as well. Every community, every Alaskan, is touched every day by the senator's love and passion for a greater Alaska. He will be missed.
State Sen. Lesil McGuire:
Today I join my neighbors, my colleagues in the Alaska State Senate, friends and family in mourning the loss of one of Alaska's true heroes. Senator Ted Stevens was a champion for Alaska and a mentor to many of us. As a young woman I was lucky enough to work very closely with Senator Stevens and he quickly became an important part of my life. He inspired me to take the leap of running for public office to serve our state, along with many other young Alaskans. He believed with every step up the ladder, his duty was to reach back and pull another up with him.
Over the years, I often turned to Senator Stevens, seeking his words of wisdom and sound advice in carrying out my duties. He became a great support to me and many other Alaska lawmakers when we worked on heavy issues facing Alaska. Most recently, this past session I contacted him regarding legislation supporting the development and construction of an in-state gas pipeline. We discussed the demand and need for getting gas to Alaskans and also discussed and looked forward to Fischer-Tropsch technologies in Alaska. In his usual lion style not only was supportive of my efforts but came forward to testify before the Senate Resources Committee meeting in April. This was a true testament of his commitment to Alaska. His leadership transcended his titles as he continued to fight for his state.
This is a tremendous loss for all of Alaska. Senator Ted Stevens was an amazing friend and mentor to me. He was an incredible husband, father, grandfather, statesman, protector and defender of Alaskans; an "Uncle" to us all and a true hero.
House Democratic Caucus Rep. Beth Kerttula:
This is a terrible day for Alaska. Our hearts go out to the families of those who lost loved ones today and may strength and healing come to the survivors. Senator Stevens' tremendous service to Alaska touched everyone in the state.
Alaska Democratic Party Chair Patti Higgins: