ANCHORAGE — Here is a sample of reactions after U.S. Rep. Don Young of Alaska, who was the longest-serving Republican in the history of the U.S. House, died Friday at the age of 88:
“Alaskans are devastated by this shocking and sad news and I am saddened beyond belief about the loss of my friend. We have lost a giant who we loved dearly and who held Alaska in his heart —always. Don was coming home to the place that he loved, and to the people that loved him best. We love you, Don.”
— U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska
“His spirit — authentic, tenacious, indomitable, a man of the people — epitomized our great state to such a degree that there was a sense he’d always be with us, that he’d live forever. He was a dear friend and mentor, and I have learned so much from this great Alaskan. The Alaska that we know and love today is a reality because of the tireless work of Don Young.” — U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska
“His historic service brought luster to the Congress, and his many friends in the House will strive to live up to his towering legacy. May it be a comfort to Don’s wife Anne and his children Dawn and Joni that so many mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.”
— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California
“Don Young was a giant, with a heart as big as the Capitol and a spirit as strong as the Alaskan wild. … No one worked harder for his or her state and people than Don.”
— House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California
“Some of my favorite stories as Republican Whip in the House are about Don Young. Nobody represented their state better or with more determination than Don Young represented Alaska.”
— U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri.
“Congressman Don Young has been a great friend and colleague of mine for many years. I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of this amazing man who, in many ways, formed Alaska into the great state it is today.”
— Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
“As the longest serving U.S. Congressman and Dean of the House, he was one of Alaska’s biggest champions. His tireless work for Alaska over the last 49 years has made a tremendous impact across generations.”
— Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson.
“Rep. Young served in Congress for a remarkable 49 years. Ally of Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians, he fought for indigenous rights and lent his wisdom to me in my first term. My thoughts are with his family.”
— U.S. Rep. Kaiali’i Kahele, D-Hawaii
“Alaska and the country lost a great leader today. Congressman Young was not only a friend to the people of the North Slope, but he was also a fierce advocate for Alaska Native rights. We were blessed to have him represent the people of our great state. We pray for and extend our sincerest condolences to the family of Congressman Young.”
— Crawford Patkotak, chairman of the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation
“Sad to hear the news of Don Young’s passing. Don was not just the Dean of the House, he was also a dear friend and a true legend of Congress. Don was a tireless fighter for Alaska who loved the outdoors, including his trips down to Louisiana to fish. Don will be greatly missed.”
— Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana
“Almost every Member of Congress has a one-of-a-kind story of their first interaction with Don Young. He was a tireless and exceptional advocate for the people of Alaska. He spent every single day doing what he loved — bringing his gargantuan voice and outsized leadership on behalf of Alaskans.”
— Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-New York
“The first time we spoke, Don Young cheerfully informed me that I was the 17th secretary he’d dealt with at DOT. Our politics weren’t the same, but it was always a pleasure working with him. A true character, he shaped US infrastructure in many ways, and will be deeply missed.”
— Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg
“Sad to hear of the passing of Don Young longtime representative from Alaska he was a friend & dedicated public servant God bless his family during this difficult time.”
— U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.