Nick Begich challenging Peltola for House seat in Alaska

Nick Begich challenging Peltola for House seat in Alaska

Republican Nick Begich announced on Thursday he would run for Congress again in Alaska, setting up a possible rematch against incumbent Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska), the state’s only statewide elected Democrat.

“As an Alaskan dad, husband, and business owner — I can’t sit back, and simply watch what is happening to our state and country. I believe in Alaskan families, our shared values, and the responsible stewardship of our lands,” Begich wrote on Twitter. “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. That’s why, today, I’m announcing my run for U.S. House.”

Begich, a Republican activist in the state, ran for Congress in both the August 2022 special election to succeed the late Rep. Don Young — the state’s longtime member of the House who died while traveling back to Alaska in March 2022 — and the November general election. He came in third, behind Peltola and Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice presidential nominee and Alaska governor, in both contests. Under Alaska’s ranked-choice voting system, voters rank candidates in order of preference and votes are redistributed in successive elimination rounds.

Peltola, an Alaska Native and former member of the Alaska House of Representatives, won both elections against Palin and Begich in what was widely seen as an upset, given the state’s Republican leaning and the prominence of both Republican challengers. Republicans have identified Alaska’s sole House seat as one of their top targets in the 2024 election.

Begich’s name carries significant weight in Alaska. His uncle Mark Begich served as the mayor of Anchorage, the state’s largest city, and was a U.S. senator from 2003 to 2009. His other uncle, Tom Begich, served two terms in the Alaska State Senate. His grandfather and namesake, Nick Begich Sr., was the state’s at-large member of Congress until he died in a plane crash in 1972.

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Author: By Eric Bazail-Eimil