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Nicholas Begich III files to run against Rep. Don Young for US House

Nicholas Begich III has officially filed to run for Alaska's seat in the U.S. House of...
Nicholas Begich III has officially filed to run for Alaska's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives against Rep. Done Young.(Photo courtesy Alaskans for Nick Begich)
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 5:33 PM AKDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2021 at 1:54 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Nicholas Begich III has officially filed to run against Republican Rep. Don Young to represent Alaska in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2022 election.

Begich, a lifelong Republican, is the founder and chairman of FarShore Partners, an international software development firm, and is also a team member of Begich Capital Partners. He is the grandson of Nick Begich Sr., a Democrat who represented Alaska in the U.S. House from 1971 until his death in Oct. 1972 in a plane crash on the way from Anchorage to Juneau.

Begich Sr. still won the 1972 election posthumously, but because he had died a special election was held, which Young won. He has held the seat since 1973.

Begich, who has worked with Young in the past, filed to run against him on Friday. He told Alaska’s News Source he has a “tremendous amount of respect” for the congressman.

But Begich said he’s been hearing from Alaskans and what they want while traveling the state over the last few years.

“What I’m hearing from the people I’ve been speaking with is that Alaskans are ready for sort of that next generation of leadership,” he said. “Some new perspectives, some fresh energy, and really someone who’s coming into this 21st century for ... with some new ideas.”

Begich said Young has accomplished a lot for Alaska over the years, but that a forward-thinking representative is needed.

“We’re looking to the future right now,” he said. “We’ve got a world full of complex challenges, a nation fill of complex challenges, and it’s going to take someone with that 20, 30, 40-year vision and outlook to be able to address those many challenges that we have.”

Young is aware that Begich has filed to run, he said. Begich said they have a great relationship and a regular dialogue.

“He said ‘good luck to you’ and we had a great conversation,” Begich said.

Young, 88, has faced several challengers in his 25 terms representing Alaska in the U.S. House, as the current longest-serving member of Congress. He most recently defeated opponent Alyse Galvin in the Nov. 2020 election, her second run at the House seat.

Begich ran unsuccessfully for the Anchorage Assembly in 2016, losing to current Municipal Manager Amy Demboski.

The Begich family has long been involved in Alaska politics, largely for the Democratic Party. Mark Begich, a former U.S. senator and Alaska gubernatorial candidate, served as a Democrat. Sen. Tom Begich currents sits in the Alaska Senate, representing Anchorage as a Democrat. Both are uncles to Begich III.

The younger Begich said he can see the historical interest of running for the same seat held by his late grandfather, but said this isn’t about his family or Young.

“I think it’s important to emphasize that I’m not running against Congressman Young — I’m running for the job, I’m running for the state of Alaska and our future,” Begich said.

Begich said he expects to make a formal announcement of his campaign in the coming days or weeks.

A staff member for Young later sent the following statement to Alaska’s News Source on behalf of Young’s campaign:

“Congressman Young is in it to win it. He welcomes challengers to the race, and looks forward to once again earning Alaskans’ trust. Congressman Young knows how to get things done; he is excited to take his message of experience and conservative values across the state.”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with a statement from Rep. Don Young’s campaign.

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