Alaska: Seafarers Union Sticks With Stevens for Senate

Posted June 16, 2008 at 5:39pm

Despite a federal investigation and tough re-election fight ahead, Sen. Ted Stevens (R) continues to keep one union’s support. According to his campaign, the Seafarers International Union, an AFL-CIO affiliate, endorsed Stevens last week.

“Through federal construction projects around the State — from ports and docks to airports and hospitals — I’ve been able to put my experience and seniority to work to create thousands of good paying Alaska jobs,” Stevens said in a statement.

According to Stevens’ campaign, the Seafarers Union has endorsed him in his past few re-election campaigns. Stevens, one of the longest-serving Members of the Senate, is now running for his eighth term.

The senior Alaska Senator is facing what could be the toughest race in his long career, in part because of an ongoing federal investigation into his ties to an oil company. Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, a top recruit for Democrats in the state, is challenging Stevens for re-election.

State’s AFSCME Local Seeking Young Blood

The state employees union is backing former state House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz (D) in his bid for Congress. ASEA/AFSCME Local 52 announced it has endorsed Berkowitz in the race for longtime Rep. Don Young’s (R) seat.

The union claims to represent more than 85,000 government workers in the state.

“During Ethan’s service in the Alaska State Legislature, he fought for Alaskans and their families at every turn,” Jim Duncan, business manager for the local chapter, said in a statement. “His tireless energy and superior understanding of the issues will serve Alaska well as our next congressman.”

Berkowitz is favored in the Democratic primary scheduled for Aug. 26. If he wins, he will face the GOP nominee, either Young or one of his primary challengers: Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who has acquired support from conservative groups, or state Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux.