Wedding Bells to Ring for Don Young, Congress' Oldest Republican

Image: Wedding Bells to Ring for Don Young, Congress' Oldest Republican Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska. (Marc Lester/MCT/Landov)

Monday, 18 Aug 2014 12:53 PM

By Andrea Billups

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Love knows no season, especially for Rep. Don Young, 81, who is engaged to be married, The Washington Post reports.

The Alaska lawmaker, Congress's oldest GOP member, is set to wed Anne Garland Walton, a 75-year-old flight nurse.

Young made his happy announcement while speaking to a church congregation in at the Anchorage Baptist Temple on "Candidate Sunday," calling her out as his fiancee, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

It will be a second marriage for Young, who lost his beloved wife Lu in 2009. The couple had been married for 46 years, and she was a well-known visitor to  his congressional office, the Post noted.

Young, a California native who has held his at-large seat in Congress since 1973, is running  for what would be his 22nd term. His opponent, Democrat Forrest Dunbar, 29, has questioned the veteran Young's effectiveness.

The independent-spirited Young, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, has drawn criticism for his sometimes abrasive words. He caught fire in 2013 after he referred to migrant workers who once worked on his father's California farm as "wetbacks," Real Clear Politics reported. He later apologized for the ethic slur.

The president of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce described his conduct as Young simply being himself.

"I hate to say this, but I think it's very true: It's Don Young — he speaks his mind, and sometimes he doesn't use the most politically correct language, but I don't see where that's going to hurt him politically," Andrew Halcro told Real Clear Politics. "People who like and support him figure it's Don being Don, and those who don't like him won't vote for him anyway."


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