In next Tuesday’s primary race Congressman Don Young will be defending his 40 year tenure as Alaska’s lone U.S. House member against two Republican challengers and five Democrats also vying for the seat.
John Cox and Terre Gales are his Republican challengers. John Cox says he came to Alaska in the early 70s and spent nearly 30 years in the Navy. He first challenged Young in 2010 and is back again saying Alaska and the nation needs new direction.
Terre Gales is also a veteran. He served in Iraq. He also says the state and country need a new path forward. Both men say spending and the deficit must be reined in, but when asked if the automatic cuts to the pentagon slated for January should be allowed to go forward, John Cox says no.
Terre Gales says the road to fiscal and economic strength is through strong leadership.
Don Young, his voice hoarse from campaigning, says his leadership works because he knows what Alaskans want.
The three Republicans agree on many issues. On health care, all three say the Affordable Care Act should be repealed. On the issue of climate change, none of them adhere to beliefs that changes are anything other than natural cycles.
When it came to Social Security and whether or not the eligibility age should be raised, John Cox said, it doesn’t matter.
Terre Gales disagreed, saying it matters to the people depending on it. Gales likes the idea of gradually raising the eligibility age in small increments.
Don Young agrees the age will have to be raised, saying part of the problem stems from the inception of the Social Security program when the average life span of Americans was shorter.
None of the candidates were in support of federal dollars being spent on private charter schools, all would seek to overturn Roe versus Wade, the law legalizing abortion and all would vote to increase military spending. But when asked whether or not the U.S. would still be in Afghanistan in 6 decades similar to the 60 years of U.S. military presence in Korea, they answered Anchorage journalist Michael Carey this way.
Next Tuesday is the primary. Tomorrow we’ll hear from the Democratic challengers for U.S. House. You can hear much more from all of the candidates tomorrow evening on Debate for the State offered statewide. Check your local public broadcasting station for the schedule.
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