Stateline Story

Governor or Congressman? (Or Neither?)

With Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin chosen for the Republican ticket, the future is looking bright for Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell (R). If the McCain-Palin ticket is successful in November, Parnell could ascend to the state's top spot.

But Parnell might be aiming for Washington, D.C., by then. He challenged embattled U.S. Rep. Don Young, who is under federal investigation for allegedly taking bribes, for his House seat in the Aug. 26 Republican primary. The race is so tight, final results aren't expected for another two weeks. With some absentee votes still to be counted, the latest tally has Young with 45.47 percent of the vote and Parnell with 45.31 percent - a difference of 151 votes. Both candidates say they are confident of victory.

So Parnell's options are: He could take a chance on the Republicans' presidential chances this fall and pull out of the House race, putting him on the path toward the governorship, or he could remain in the race against Young and possibly add "U.S. Congressman" to his resume.

On the flip side, he could lose his primary election, the Republicans could lose the presidency, and Parnellwould end up where he started: as lieutenant governor.