This week, Democratic candidate for governor Mark Begich added a notable name to his list of backers with the endorsement of Alaska’s former First Lady Bella Hammond.
The Begich campaign announced the endorsement earlier this week after the two recently met at her home in Anchorage to discuss his campaign.
Hammond is the widow of the late Gov. Jay Hammond, who was key to the creation of the Alaska Permanent Fund. Bella Hammond has carried on the former governor’s legacy and been an outspoken voice when it comes to how the Alaska Permanent Fund is utilized today.
“When I look at Mark, I see some of the values that made Jay such a strong leader – like putting people over politics,” she said in a prepared statement released by the campaign. “Jay understood what governing in pivotal moments was all about and that is why we have the Permanent Fund today. Mark Begich is the only candidate with a realistic, responsible plan that will make sure Jay’s legacy lives on – and that’s good for all Alaskans.”
In the same announcement, Begich said he was honored to receive the endorsement, adding that “Jay and Bella Hammond represent great Alaska leaders, and their unwavering commitment to Alaskans and our shared values is something I have always admired and strived to embrace in my own public service.”
In the 2014 election cycle, Bella Hammond endorsed Gov. Bill Walker. She also Begich in his bid for re-election against Dan Sullivan. Begich and Walker are now in a three-way race for governor with Republican Mike Dunleavy.