Alaska: Real Estate Developer to Challenge Sen. Stevens

Posted January 4, 2008 at 5:04pm

Embattled Sen. Ted Stevens (R), currently under federal investigation, has drawn a primary challenger. Wealthy businessman David Cuddy is planning a bid against Stevens, according to local news reports.

Three Democrats, including former Republican Ray Metcalfe, a prominent whistle-blower, have also filed to run for the seat. However, Democratic leaders are waiting for popular Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich to make a decision on whether he will take on the longest-serving Republican in the Senate.

Cuddy is the first viable Republican to run against Stevens since the real estate developer first challenged him in 1996. Cuddy put his own wealth into that race and would likely do so again in 2008. Stevens had amassed a war chest of about $1 million through September.

Cuddy’s announcement and Begich’s possible entrance into the race mark the first time Stevens has been viewed as vulnerable, even though Alaska has not elected a Democrat to Congress since 1974 and the senior Senator has held his seat for 40 years.

— Shira Toeplitz