ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Alaska's sole U.S. House member filed paperwork Tuesday for a 22nd term in Congress, a month after his 80th birthday.
"I'm probably in better shape than most people," U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, told reporters after filing the paperwork in Anchorage.
"I've always said as long as I physically can do this job, I'm going to do it. The mental part? I'm qualified to be in Congress," he quipped.
Young said he doesn't like the idea of retiring.
"People retire when they're not happy with what they're doing, and I still like what I'm doing" said Young, who took office in 1973.
There may come a day "when somebody will challenge me and possibly be successful or the good Lord will take care of me, one or the other, so my job is to keep doing what I've always done," he said.
At least two others have already filed to run for the seat: Matt Moore, a Democrat who lost his party's nomination to then-state Rep. Sharon Cissna last year, and Republican John R. Cox, who has unsuccessfully run for the office before.
The House Ethics Committee in March said it was forming a special panel to investigate whether Young had failed to report gifts on annual disclosure forms, misused campaign funds and lied to federal officials. Young said the FBI has already exonerated him on those matters.
Young said it's a little frustrating, claiming the committee is trying "to re-plow the same field," but expects the same outcome.
He didn't know if the panel would conclude its investigation by the election.
"Oh, I don't know, that's not my worry," he said, adding he encouraged Alaskans to read the ethics committee's final report.
Young filed for re-election shortly after returning from a trip to rural Alaska with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who caught a couple of king salmon on his trip to Naknek.
Young said he specifically wanted Boehner to get outside Anchorage to see how people live in rural parts of the state.