Education advocate to challenge Don Young

Published: Jan. 11, 2018 at 3:06 PM AKST
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Alyse Galvin, a leading advocate for Alaska schools, plans to officially announce her candidacy for Congress Thursday afternoon against long-term Alaska Rep. Don Young.

In an interview Thursday, Galvin said that she will be running as an independent and is registered as an undeclared voter, but she hopes to appear on the Alaska Democratic primary ballot. If she appears on this ballot and wins, she can then receive help from the party leading up to the Nov. 6 general election.

Young, 84, has been one of the most entrenched representatives in Washington, D.C., and he is currently the

. Despite facing elections every two years, Young has knocked off opponent after opponent –

, when he beat former journalist Steve Lindbeck by more than 44,000 votes. He hasn’t lost an election since a dead man, Nick Begich, beat him in the general election in 1972. Begich, who was missing and presumed dead in a plane crash, was former U.S. Sen. March Begich’s father.

Galvin, 52, says she is untroubled by Young’s long record of victories.

"He’s a politician, and boy is he smooth," she said. "We can do this."

Alaskans “are looking for an independent voice" willing to fight for them, she added.

Galvin said she plans to focus her campaign on education, health care and jobs. In addition, she said she has no plans to make a target out of President Trump.

She was a leader of Great Alaska Schools and has lobbied the Alaska Legislature for more money for public education. Galvin said her experience with the group "opened my eyes to many things," including how to organize a campaign.

Galvin has four children, the youngest of whom is graduating high school this year. Her husband is long-term Democrat Patrick Galvin, currently an official with an independent oil company and formerly a revenue commissioner for two Republican governors, Sarah Palin and Sean Parnell.

"I’m running for Alaskans' future," Galvin said. "People are fed up with politicians in general."

In a prepared statement, Young’s campaign manager, former Alaska Teamster boss Jerry Hood, said: “We welcome all challengers and look forward to another spirited campaign."


starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, at the 49th State Brewing Company, in downtown Anchorage.