JUNEAU alaska – Ben Stevens, former Alaska Senate president and son of the late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, has died. He was 63 years old.
Alaska State Troopers said Thursday evening they responded to a report of a hiker with a medical emergency on the Lost Lake Trail near Seward. The hiker was later identified as Stevens, troopers said. The troopers’ statement said a medical service reached the scene about 6:40 p.m. and that life-saving efforts were unsuccessful.
Erec Isaacson, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska, where Stevens served as vice president of external affairs and transportation, said in a statement Friday the company is “deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our friend and colleague Ben Stevens”
Stevens joined the company in early 2021 after serving as chief of staff to Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
“I will always cherish the time he was my chief of staff; his knowledge and political acumen were a great asset to my administration,” Dunleavy said on social media.
A message seeking comment was sent to the Ted Stevens Foundation. Ted Stevens, who died in 2010, was a Republican senator for Alaska for 40 years.
Ben Stevens, a Republican, was appointed to the state Senate in 2001. He served as Senate president in 2005 and 2006, but did not run for re-election after that.
His office was one of at least six state legislative offices raided by federal agents in 2006 as part of a corruption investigation. Stevens was never charged with any crime. He denied any wrongdoing.
Former Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, said on social media that he had spent time with Stevens twice this week and that news of his unexpected death was “surreal”
Members of Alaska’s congressional delegation called Stevens a friend. U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska), whose time in the state legislature overlapped with Stevens’, said Alaska had lost a “great leader who worked tirelessly for our entire state.”
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said on social media that Stevens’ death leaves “a void in our Alaskan fabric” U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) said Stevens “always fought for our state’s interests with Ted Stevens-like zeal.”
Alaska Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich said there were times when he and Stevens agreed on policy and times when they disagreed.
Stevens “was a bulldog, but when it came down to it, we were always able to work with each other to figure out how best to move this great state forward. Ben helped shape Alaska as chief of staff to the governor, as Senate president, as an activist and as an Alaskan,” Begich, an Anchorage Democrat, said in a statement.
State Senate President Peter Micciche, a Republican, said that “politics and a passionate commitment to serving Alaska was in Ben’s blood”
Stevens is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and their children.