Former Prominent GOP Lawmaker Dies During Hike at Age 63 After Medical Emergency


Ben Stevens, the former Republican president of the Alaska Senate, died last week after collapsing during a hike with his wife.

The 63-year-old Stevens was hiking on a trail in the Chugach National Forest near Seward, Alaska State Troopers said in a news release Friday.

They said they were called to “a medical emergency with CPR in progress” at 5:57 p.m. Thursday.

LifeMed rescuers arrived at the scene about 45 minutes later, but they were unable to revive Stevens. His body was transported to Anchorage, according to the release.

In a Facebook post on Friday, the Anchorage Republican Women attributed Stevens’ death to a heart attack. “His wife, Elizabeth, and Ben were hiking when Ben collapsed. … Our sympathy goes out to his family,” the group said.

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Stevens held a number of prominent positions in Alaskan politics and business over the years.

He came from a political legacy as his father was Ted Stevens, a Republican who represented Alaska in the U.S. Senate from December 1968 to January 2009. The elder Stevens died in a plane crash in 2010.

Ben Stevens was appointed to the Alaska state Senate in 2001 by then-Gov. Tony Knowles and served as its president in 2005 and 2006, KTUU-TV reported.

In 2006, Stevens and five other state lawmakers had their offices raided by the FBI in connection with a corruption investigation, according to the Alaska Beacon.

The senator was never charged with any crime in connection with that investigation, but he decided not to run for office again.

In 2018, he took a position as chief of staff for Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

Last year, Stevens moved on to ConocoPhillips Alaska, where he was vice president of external affairs and transportation, according to KTUU.

Upon news of his death, the petroleum refinery company’s president issued a statement mourning his loss.

“The entire ConocoPhillips family is deeply saddened by the sudden passing on Thursday evening of our friend and colleague, Ben Stevens,” Erec Isaacson said Friday. “Our sympathies are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time.

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“Ben was a valued leader at ConocoPhillips Alaska and leaves a significant legacy in the state of Alaska. Ben will be deeply missed not only by his family and colleagues, but in the broader Alaska community.”

The Ted Stevens Foundation shared similar sentiments.

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Ben Stevens, the Senator’s youngest son,” the foundation posted Monday on Facebook. “A leader in our state, Ben leaves a lasting legacy as a businessman, commercial fisherman, political leader, and executive.

“Most importantly, he was a devoted and loving husband and father, often found at the hockey rink or on the shores of the Naknek River. As we mourn the loss of Ben, we are grateful for the outpouring of support.”

Dunleavy also posted his condolences on Facebook.

“Ben Stevens was a good friend of mine. I will always cherish the time he was my Chief of Staff; his knowledge and political acumen were significant assets in my administration. He dedicated his life to making Alaska a better place,” the Alaska governor said. “Everyone will remember Ben’s continued commitment to our great state.

“Rose and I offer our prayers to Ben’s wife, Elizabeth, and the kids during this difficult time.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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