Profile: Challenger Alyse Galvin and Incumbent Don Young Ahead of Election

Side-by-side portraits of 2018 Alaska U.S. House candidates Alyse Galvin and Don Young.

Voting for the 2020 General Election concludes in about a week and Western Alaskans are currently deciding who they want to represent them in the U.S. House of Representatives.

This year, Independent Alyse Galvin is taking a second swing at unseating Republican Congressman Don Young in the House.

Galvin says she is focusing on the aspects that set her apart from her opponent. Those mainly come down to climate change and technological innovation, particularly in education. She sees an education in technology as crucial for future jobs in the state that will go to Alaskans.

“My opponent just recently said that he’s proud he’s never opened a laptop or sent a text message.  And I think it’s time we had a fresh voice at the table. I think I can be a bigger champion just because I’ve raised kids recently and understand how important it is that we keep the next generation of kids here.”

– Alyse Galvin

Though an Independent, Galvin is running on the Democratic ticket on this year’s ballot. She stresses her desire for bipartisan collaboration, especially during a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic.

“Part of my concern is that there seems to be so much fighting between one party and the other that I think is getting in the way towards getting a solution.”

– Alyse Galvin

When it comes to issues like climate change, which Galvin calls a ‘climate crisis’, she says Washington needs to take action but not with largescale federal legislation like “The Green New Deal”. Renewable energy is an industry where Galvin sees job opportunities and economic growth for Alaskans.

“We know we do have some of the best solutions in the country so am I excited to bring my voice- I should say our voice- to Washington and talk about some of the things we’re already doing. For instance, we have the most microgrids in the US per capita.”

– Alyse Galvin

To hear more from Independent Alyse Galvin on coronavirus stimulus for small businesses, the Arctic Deep Draft Port in Nome, and her thoughts on issues that impact Western Alaska, click below.

Meanwhile, Congressman Don Young plans on staying in Washington D.C. to represent Alaskans as their Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 87-year-old Republican has been serving for 47 years and is looking to turn that into 49.

Young has served the state through a lot of challenges and KNOM spoke with him about some of the nation’s most unique and pressing issues, like the coronavirus. He says he isn’t necessarily against additional federal support for Americans suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic but also emphasizes his belief in “personal responsibility.”

“Take care of yourself. If you’re sick, don’t go out. If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask… But keep in mind that’s your self- responsibility. The idea that the government is going to solve this problem for you does not work.”

– Don Young

Young says he has fought and will continue to fight for Alaskans. And he doesn’t think his age will hinder him, nor does he feel he’s out of touch with the public either.

“I hear this comment, ‘he’s too old!’ Baloney! Or, ‘we need a change.’ If you had a highly specialized heart doctor working on your heart for ten years would you change to a dishwasher?  No you wouldn’t, you ‘d keep that heart doctor.”

– Don Young

To hear more from Congressman Young on the coronavirus pandemic, rural broadband access, public safety, and more, click below.

Image at Top: 2018 and 2020 Alaska U.S. House candidates Alyse Galvin and Don Young. (Photo credits: Alyse Galvin image via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0); portrait of Don Young is public domain via Wikimedia Commons.) Photo composite: David Dodman, KNOM.