WASHINGTON (CNN) – Now that the corruption case against former Sen. Ted Stevens has been dropped, Alaska Rep. Don Young wants Stevens to run for governor – a move that would set up a Republican primary between the veteran lawmaker and Sarah Palin, if she decides to seek a second term in 2010.
“Personally I’d like to see him run for governor, and that’s my personal feeling,” Young told the Alaska Public Radio Network on Thursday. “So, we’ll see what happens down the line. He probably won’t, but I think that would be a great way to cap off a great career as being the governor of the state of Alaska.”
Stevens will be 87 years old by the time the next governor takes office in January 2011.
Other top Alaska Republicans, including Palin and Alaska GOP chairman Randy Ruedrich, said Thursday that Democratic Sen. Mark Begich should step aside so a new vote can be held now that the charges against Stevens have been dropped by the Justice Department.
Young dismissed those demands, calling them “a lot of noise.”
“Sen. Begich, in all due respect, won the race,” he said. “There is no other recourse. He has taken office, he is now the new senator.”
Young and Palin aren’t exactly political pals. Palin endorsed a Republican primary challenger against Young in 2008, and during her vice presidential campaign the Alaska governor refused to publicly back Young’s re-election bid while federal investigators looked into his dealings with an oil company.