Berkowitz Ponders Rematch With Young in Alaska

Former Alaska state House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz (D) is inclined to run again for the House seat held by embattled Rep. Don Young (R). The 17-term Alaska Republican defeated Berkowitz 51 percent to 44 percent last month.

Berkowitz said in a phone interview Tuesday night that he is “considering” a second bid against Young, who is still under federal investigation.

The Democrat said he planned to take the next few months off from the campaign trail before making a final decision, but he was quick to point out that he received more votes than any other Democrat in state history with the exception of Sen.-elect Mark Begich (D).

“It seems to me that as Alaska sees the sensible course that the Obama administration takes, some of the demonizing of Democrats will evaporate,” Berkowitz said.

Public polls prior to Election Day showed Berkowitz with a solid lead over Young, who has been dogged by a federal investigation into his involvement with an earmark in Florida and who also appeared damaged by political scandals involving top Alaska Republicans. Young’s win was attributed in part to high GOP turnout as a result of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R) place on the national Republican ticket.

“The pendulum is swinging, and I just didn’t quite get on that at the right point,” Berkowitz said. “But the pendulum is definitely swinging.”

Begich, meanwhile, is hosting a pair of fundraising events in Washington, D.C. Begich defeated convicted 40-year Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) by a slim margin last month.

Begich will host a breakfast to benefit his own Great Land Political Action Committee on Tuesday, with tickets ranging in price from $1,000 to $5,000.

Later that day, Begich will headline a reception to help retire his campaign debt, according to an invitation obtained by Roll Call.

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