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Don Young's unusual endorsement of Hawaii Democrat Mazie Hirono

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published July 25, 2012

Alaska's lone U.S. Congressman, Republican stalwart Don Young, has appeared in a new campaign video to support his House colleague, Hawaii's Mazie Hirono -- a Democrat -- in her run for U.S. Senate. In these hyper-partisan times, political harrumphing and susurration has ensued Outside about it. But Alaskans aren't likely to be too surprised.

Longtime Congressman Young is known in Alaska for at least two things: Doing or saying kooky, unexpected things and for mostly knowing the difference between ideological cloud-battles and a real-life needs.

Who could forget that time he put his own wrist in a steel leg trap? Or waved an oosik (a walrus penis bone) at the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service? Or that time he wore a propeller beanie to a congressional energy hearing? Who could forget the time he defended Rep. Joseph Cao, R-La., for not toeing the party line on health care reform?

Alaskans also may not be taken aback by their Republican representative endorsing a liberal Democrat because they are used to seeing their politicians cross the aisle, especially when the aisle leads to Hawaii's delegation. Even POLITICO notes the long-collegial relationship between Alaska and Hawaii.

The ad (embedded below) features Young and Hirono seated next to one another, warmly ribbing each other about their many ideological differences. Despite those differences, they say, they've shown the ability to join forces and solve problems that impact their constituents. The campaign message being that Rep. Hirono actually delivers bipartisan action instead of just talking about it.

"Having worked together on several issues important to both Alaska and Hawaii, Congressman Young and Congresswoman Hirono have developed a close personal friendship and working relationship," Young's office said in a press release. "Congressman Young respects Congresswoman Hirono's ability to work across party lines and do what's best for the people Hawaii.

"Today's endorsement had little to do with party affiliation -- but rather who will best represent the people of Hawaii in the U.S. Senate and work across party lines with me on issues important to Alaska."

Watch below, and read more from POLITICO, here.

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