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Young’s Fate Hangs in the Balance

It’s too close to call for Alaska Republicans in their Tuesday night primary. While indicted Sen. Ted Stevens (R) coasted through his GOP primary Tuesday night, the race of his Republican colleague, Rep. Don Young, remained a tight contest Wednesday morning. Just about 145 votes separate Young and his primary opponent Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, with 96 percent of precincts reporting according to the Alaska Secretary of State’s Web site. Young had 45.5 percent of the vote, while Parnell had 45.3 percent. Young, who has served 18 terms in the House, is under investigation for a suspicious $10 million earmark for a Florida road that would have benefited one of his campaign donors. Though Parnell ran what many insiders considered to be a minimal campaign, he had the backing of the state’s most popular politician, Gov. Sarah Palin (R). The winner of the GOP primary will face former state House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz (D), who handily won his primary last night, in November. Meanwhile, Stevens, who is awaiting trial in Washington, D.C., in federal court for allegedly lying on his financial disclosure forms, had an easy evening, defeating two GOP candidates who each put at least $750,000 into their own campaigns. Stevens received 64 percent of the vote in his seven-way primary and will face Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) in the general election.