Alaska: 21st Century Democrats Go Back to the Future

Posted June 25, 2008 at 6:40pm

The 21st Century Democrats have endorsed the underdog in the Democratic primary for Rep. Don Young’s (R) seat.

The political group picked 2006 nominee Diane Benson (D) over former state House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz (D), who is the favorite of national Democrats and is favored to win the primary, according to publicly released polls.

Wendy Davis, the national field director for 21st Century Democrats, noted that Benson applied for the endorsement, but Berkowitz did not. Berkowitz aides confirmed that they did not seek the endorsement, but said they were not asked to apply. The 21st Century Democrats don’t recruit applicants in every race in the country, but invite all Democrats to apply.

Benson is one of 27 candidates that the organization is endorsing this month from the federal to local levels, Davis said.

“She certainly matches up [to] our organization in terms of her political stance and progressive values,” Davis said.

While Young and Benson face each other in the Aug. 26 Democratic primary, Young has a party challenge of his own from Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell (R). This is Young’s most competitive re-election campaign in decades.