By Chris Klint
Channel 2 News
10:41 AM AKST, November 7, 2012
Update: According to unofficial election results from the Division of Elections, longtime Alaska Congressman Don Young will return to the D.C. for his 21st term – marking over 40 years in office.
It was essentially no contest with Republican Don Young clinching 65 percent of the votes and Democratic state Rep. Sharon Cissna had 28 percent of the votes with 99 percent of the precincts reporting.
Rep. Young said he’s watched the country become more divided in his tenure and it’s up to President Obama to lead the way.
“If you look at the popular vote in this election, it’s very nearly tied, right down the line it’s been D’s and R’s, left and right,” Rep. Young said. “We can have a possibility of changes; it’s going to take an effort for this President to reach across.”
On March 14, 2013, Rep. Young will start his 41st year representing Alaska’s only House seat in Congress.
Editor's Note: KTUU's Neil Torquiano contributed to the Wednesday update of this story.
Original: Republicans did well in Alaska on the national stage Tuesday night, with Rep. Don Young well ahead in initial returns Tuesday night during his run for a 21st term as Alaska’s sole U.S. House member and Mitt Romney earning a strong majority of the state’s presidential votes.
As of 12:05 a.m. Wednesday, with about 86 percent of precincts reporting, Young had about 64 percent of the vote to 28 percent garnered by his main challenger, Democratic state Rep. Sharon Cissna. Libertarian candidate Jim McDermott had about 5 percent of the vote, while unaffiliated Ted Gianoutsos had just under 2 percent of the vote.
Cissna, Young’s main Democratic challenger, gained statewide notoriety after she refused to board a plane due to a Transportation Security Administration pat-down, leading the Legislature to issue a resolution supporting her anti-TSA stance.
The candidates met in a final debate Monday at an Anchorage Chamber of Commerce luncheon, in which Young said jobs were a major part of addressing the national debt, while Cissna said improving health care would help do so.
On the presidential front, Mitt Romney had a commanding lead in Alaska, with 55 percent of the vote to President Obama’s 40 percent of the vote. Obama was able to take battleground states Pennsylvania and Ohio, however, leading news organizations to call the race for him earlier Tuesday night.
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