Alaska Republican Congressman Don Young Dead at 88

According to Anchorage Daily News, he lost consciousness during a flight from Los Angeles to Seattle and could not be resuscitated. His wife, Anne, was by his side according to a statement from his office.

“It’s with heavy hearts and deep sadness that we announce Congressman Don Young, the Dean of the House and revered champion for Alaska, passed away today while traveling home to Alaska to be with the state and people that he loved,” the statement said.

Young has served in Congress since 1973. He was carrying out his 25th term and running for his 26th. His chief of staff, Jack Ferguson, said Young was eager to serve another term and looked forward to Republicans retaking the House majority after midterms.

“That was his goal, and he felt he could best help the state in the position he’s held all these years,” Ferguson said. “He was vibrant, he had a lot of energy, he’s very clear of mind, spoke clearly about what he wanted to accomplish, set goals that he wanted to make happen, and was happy to be running.”

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