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Berkowitz Enters Race for Young’s House Seat

Former state House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz (D) announced Wednesday that he is running for the the at-large Congressional seat currently occupied by embattled Rep. Don Young (R).

Berkowitz ran for lieutenant governor in 2006 alongside former Gov. Tony Knowles (D) but lost handily to the Republican ticket.

The other announced Democratic candidates are former Alaska Democratic Party Chairman Jake Metcalfe and 2006 nominee Diane Benson.

Berkowitz planned to make his announcement on a statewide television news broadcast live from Anchorage. In a phone interview, Berkowitz said he would have to raise about $1.5 million to $2.5 million to wage a competitive campaign against Young, who may have a primary challenge as well.

“I have a good chance against whoever it is,” Berkowitz said. “And I have a good chance because the campaign is going to focus on issues that matter to people.”

Young campaign spokesman Mike Anderson said “folks have been very courteous about calling Mr. Young and talking to him about” running in the primary.

“Whoever shows up, whoever his challenger is, it’s going to be tough one,” Anderson conceded. “But this is a marathon … and when the marathon is over with, Mr. Young expects to be the only person at the finish line.”

— Shira Toeplitz

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