Anchorage Assembly member Chris Constant joins race for US House

Anchorage Assembly member Chris Constant announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.
Published: Feb. 17, 2022 at 1:39 PM AKST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2022 at 4:24 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage Assembly member Chris Constant announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.

Constant held a press conference at the 49th State Brewing Company building Thursday morning to announce his intent to run against Republican Rep. Don Young.

“After living through the darkness of the pandemic and years of political extremism that have threatened the very foundation of our democracy, it’s time once again to believe in a better and brighter tomorrow, and to build it,” Constant said. “It’s time to leave behind the chaos and come together as Alaskans to achieve our full potential as a state and as a nation. It’s time to reject political pessimism and instead it’s time to lead with courage, optimism, and hope. That is why I am committed to public service for my fellow Alaskans. That is why I am excited about the future and that is why today I am announcing my campaign to become Alaska’s next representative in Congress.”

Constant is a real estate agent and director of grants and contracts for a statewide substance abuse nonprofit who was first elected to the assembly in 2017, according to the assembly website. He was reelected to assembly seat B in 2020 and represents downtown Anchorage. Constant was the president of the Fairview Community Council before he ran for the assembly in 2017.

According to a press release sent later Thursday, Constant came to Alaska 25 years ago as a commercial fisherman based in the Upper Cook Inlet.

Constant joins Nick Begich III in challenging Young for the state’s sole U.S. House seat.

In an interview with Alaska’s News Source, Constant said he was pleasantly surprised by Young’s votes in support of “progressive policies” from President Joe Biden such as the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act and the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, as well as the American Rescue Plan Act.

“It looks like the Republican party is leaving Don Young behind,” Constant said. “Don Young is an institution and he has been around for a long time and he has done a lot of incredible things for this state, so his record of service is almost unimpeachable, and at this time it’s time to look forward to the next 50 years of Alaska.”

If elected, Constant said he would like to serve on infrastructure, energy and resources committees, and is committed to rebuilding the Port of Alaska.

Begich, a Republican, announced his candidacy last October. He last ran for election in 2016 when he lost a seat on the Anchorage assembly to current Municipal Manager Amy Demboski. Begich is the grandson of Nick Begich Sr., who represented Alaska in the U.S. House from 1971 until he was presumed dead in an Oct. 1972 plane crash flying from Anchorage to Juneau.

“What I’m hearing from the people I’ve been speaking with is that Alaskans are ready for sort of that next generation of leadership,” Begich III said when he announced his run. “Some new perspectives, some fresh energy, and really someone who’s coming into this 21st century for ... with some new ideas.”

Young, 88, currently holds the seat as Alaska’s lone member of Congress. Young has served 25 consecutive terms since he was first elected in 1973 and is the longest serving Republican member of the House of Representatives in history. In 2017 he became the 45th Dean of the House.

A staff member for Young later sent the following statement to Alaska’s News Source on behalf of Young’s campaign in October when Begich III announced his campaign:

“Congressman Young is in it to win it. He welcomes challengers to the race, and looks forward to once again earning Alaskans’ trust. Congressman Young knows how to get things done; he is excited to take his message of experience and conservative values across the state.”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information.

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