Prominent Croatian American Runs for Alaska Governor

Total Croatia News

Former US Senator Mark Begich will run for the Democratic Party nomination.

According to US media, former US Senator Mark Begich turned in the documents needed to become a candidate for Governor of Alaska on Friday. In a press conference moments later, Begich explained his decision to run. “I see huge opportunity, but I don’t see a vision. I don’t see where we are heading in the next 20 years and I believe I can add a fresh voice to the governor’s race that I think is desperately needed,” said Begich.

Begich also published a letter to his supporters announcing his candidacy. “Alaska is my home, and I will not sit back and watch our state continue to fall behind,” Begich wrote, citing the highest unemployment rate in the country and the FBI labeling Alaska as the most dangerous state in the US. “With challenges like these, I am deeply concerned about the dangerous vision from the leading Republican candidate. We can and we must do better.”

In response to Begich’s decision, current Alaska Governor Bill Walker announced that he would skip the Democratic primary and run in the general election as an independent. In that way, he will avoid or at least delay a direct electoral confrontation with Begich.

Begich is a son of Alaska Congressman Nick Begich, who died in the 1972 plane crash. His grandfather, John Begich, moved to the United States from Croatia in 1911.

Begich ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Anchorage in 1994, and then again in 2000. In the 2003 elections, he narrowly won, earning only 11 votes over the number needed to win without a runoff.

In 2008, Begich decided to run for the United States Senate. After winning the Democratic nomination, he went on to face Republican incumbent Ted Stevens in the general election. During the campaign, Stevens faced multiple ethics and corruption allegations, and Begich won the election with a narrow majority.

Six years later, in 2014, Begich was defeated for reelection by Republican candidate Dan Sullivan.


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