Begich III Announces Offer to Purchase at American House: “Alaska Needs New Energy” | New


WASILLA, Alaska (AP) – Nicholas Begich III on Thursday launched his campaign for Alaska’s only seat in the United States House against the oldest Republican in that chamber, saying Alaska needs a new energy.

Begich, 44, addressed a group of supporters in a small room next to a busy cafe in Wasilla, about 72 kilometers north of Anchorage. He said there had to be a generational change as he challenged fellow Republican Don Young, 88, for the seat Young held for most of the time that Alaska was a state.

“This race is not about Don Young,” Begich told The Associated Press in an interview after the announcement.

“This is the state of Alaska, and the state of Alaska needs new energy. The state of Alaska needs new ideas, and we need to have a representative who can be there, who is willing to show up for the job and push these new ideas forward on behalf of the people of this great state, ” did he declare.

Young has been in power since 1973, winning a special election after Begich’s grandfather, then U.S. Representative Nick Begich, was pronounced dead after his plane went missing.

Begich and Young’s campaign addressed a rumor that Young would step down and give Begich his blessing for the office.

“There is absolutely no truth to the rumor. As he always has, Congressman Young runs hard and runs to win. He looks forward to a lively campaign season,” said de Young’s campaign. in an e-mail declaration to the AP.

Begich also brushed off the rumor, saying voters would decide the race.

“Right now. Don Young is in the race, and I expect him to stay in the race right now, and we’re both going to be running vigorous campaigns,” Begich said.

Although both are Republicans, Begich said there are differences between the two.

“I consider myself to be a strong conservative,” he said, noting that was one of the reasons he chose to make his campaign ad in Wasilla instead of Anchorage. “Wasilla is a core conservative.”

At one point, he criticized Young for siding with the Democrats on some votes, but also invoked the late US Senator Ted Stevens’ mantra of doing what was best for Alaska despite politics.

“Alaska is always the first,” Begich said. “And if there are areas of common ground, and I believe there are many areas of common ground where we can work across the aisle for the betterment of the state and of this nation. “

Begich said his loyalty is based on the values ​​and principles of the Republican Party. Former GOP leader President Donald Trump continued to try to cast doubt on the 2020 election results he lost to President Joe Biden. Begich did not respond when asked if he shared Trump’s point of view.

“The election was judged by a constitutional process, and we have the result that we have,” Begich said.

Begich also condemned the attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters.

“What we saw on January 6 was absolutely inappropriate. I think the whole country has to be okay with this, and it was an unfortunate stain on our nation’s history and I hope it will not be repeated, ”he said.

Begich comes from a long line of prominent Alaska Democrats, including his grandfather and two uncles, one a current state senator and the other a former US senator.

During his announcement he addressed this, saying he comes from a large family and they approach service differently.

Begich has always been a Republican, state voting records show, and he will become the most prominent person to challenge Young in the GOP since then-Gov. Sarah Palin’s Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell led Young through the 2008 Republican primaries, losing by 304 votes.

Young is the fourth person to hold the seat since Alaska acquired statehood and now bears the ceremonial title of Dean of the House, worn by the longest-serving member of the corps. The title carries no official function other than swearing in the Speaker of the House every two years and ensuring civility in the House.

He was the Republican candidate in the 1972 general election against then-US representative Nick Begich. Three weeks before the election, Begich’s plane disappeared on a flight from Anchorage to Juneau with then-House Majority Leader Hale Boggs, the father of the late journalist Cokie Roberts. The Alaskans still re-elected the Democrat.

Begich was declared dead in December 1972 and Young won a close special election in March 1973.

He has sent 21 opponents – some have tried twice – since then.

Randy Purham, Gregg Brelsford and Shannon Scott Evans, all Republicans, and Chris Bye, a libertarian, have already filed documents to appear on the ballot or have filed nomination papers with the Federal Election Commission. No Democrat has yet filed a case.

An election initiative passed last year calls for a single primary ballot, with the top four getting the vote, regardless of party, qualifying for the general election. The preferential vote would be used for general elections.

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