Nick Begich back in race for Alaska’s U.S. House seat

Nick Begich back in race for Alaska’s U.S. House seat
Published: Jul. 13, 2023 at 12:18 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Republican Nick Begich III has tossed his name back in the ring in pursuit of Alaska’s U.S. House seat.

Begich, who ran on the GOP platform and lost to Democrat Mary Peltola last fall in the race for Alaska’s lone congressional seat, announced Thursday morning that he planned to run again for the position in 2024. He is the first known candidate to announce their intention to run for the position next year.

The grandson of former Alaska congressman Nick Begich Sr. — who went missing in a plane crash while serving in office in 1972 — and the nephew of former Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, the current business owner spelled out his mission for his upcoming run for office.

“I can’t sit back, and simply watch what is happening to our state and country,” Begich wrote in a Facebook post. “... It’s clear, we don’t have the voice we need in Congress, and I believe it’s time we restore that voice: for our families, for our communities, and for our future.”

Last November, Begich lost in the U.S. House race, finishing third and with fewer first-place votes than both Peltola and fellow Republican Sarah Palin. Begich gained 62,505 votes (23.6%) compared to 68,330 (25.8%) for Palin and 128,755 (48.6%) for Peltola, who in August became the first woman and first Alaska Native representative in Congress with her victory in a special election to finish out the late Rep. Don Young’s term.

In November, Begich was eliminated in the state’s first use of ranked-choice voting, which utilized an instant runoff to deliver the victory to Peltola.

Begich and Palin waged a war of words for the other one to drop out of the race in order to give a Republican candidate a better chance of winning.

In his announcement Thursday, Begich stated that he will be running on a “hopeful, optimistic, and positive vision” in next year’s election, and prioritized the state’s vast oil reserves and fisheries as key areas of focus if elected.

“If we can unlock the full potential of our natural resources, while ensuring environmental sustainability, we can drive economic growth, create jobs, and build a prosperous future for all Alaskans,” Begich said in a press release.