Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Alaska: Republicans Lining Up to Take on Mark Begich

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At least two well-known Republicans are actively considering challenges to Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, who enters the 2014 cycle as one of the most endangered incumbents.

According to Republican insiders in the state, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and 2010 Senate nominee Joe Miller are making calls and lining up support for potential Senate bids. Former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman and Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan are also viewed as potential Begich challengers. Gov. Sean Parnell might be interested as well, insiders said.

GOP consultant Andrew Halcro said it might be easier to ask which Republicans aren’t considering taking on Begich. But, he added, Begich will be more difficult to defeat than most think after striking a moderate tone and working hard during the past four years.

Begich is running for his first re-election. In 2008, he defeated Republican incumbent Ted Stevens, one week after Stevens was found guilty of corruption charges in federal court — a ruling that was thrown out five months later. Begich, then mayor of Anchorage, won by less than 4,000 votes.

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried Alaska last week by 13 points.

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    A Romney-Ryan Regime in election day (election period!) 2014 likely would have been better for Senator Begich’s re-election prospects. However, absent a decision by Governor Parnell to challenge him, Begich would have to be considered at least the precarious favourite, not least because the Frontier State is one of a few states (the only state?) where the R national ticket performed worse than 2008.

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    The reason for the drop off compared to 2008 was because that twit Sarah Palin was on the ticket then (Favorite Daughter, although that title wouldn’t be accurate today).
    Provided the GOP doesn’t yet again nominate a moron (i.e. Mourdock, Akin, O’Donnell, Buck, Angle, etc., etc., etc.) Begich will suffer the same fate as Scott Brown, a fish out of water so to speak.


    Also, you can’t look past the 6-year itch aspect of the electorate in 2014. Ya Ya I know, Clinton didn’t have a 6-year itch election, but times were a hellavu lot different then. The economy was booming then during the dot-com boom and Clinton rode that to high popularity. That was a very different set of circumstances than what that usually happens during a President’s 2nd term. Just look at Eisenhower, Reagan, Nixon and W.
    Obama is not gonna have a booming economy to prop him up like Clinton did, any econonist will tell you that. It will be more of what we have now, at best.

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