Former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is considering a run for governor in 2018 and hopes to make a decision in the next few months, according to a newsletter sent to followers this morning.
“I wanted to let you know that in response to many urging me to run, I am considering it, but Deborah and I have not made a decision yet,” he wrote. “I hope to make a decision and share that with you in the next few months. In the meantime, I ask that you keep your powder dry.”
A copy of the email with the subject line “Governor?” was forwarded to The Midnight Sun. It gives an update on the Democrat’s activities since the 2014 election—he’s had “another great Alaska summer filled with friends, family, and plenty of fish!” and been busy with his consulting firm Northern Compass Group—before addressing his potential gubernatorial aspirations.
“Meanwhile, it seems the election season has already started for some and so it comes back to the question everyone is asking – are you running for Governor?” he wrote.
Begich has been long-rumored to be considering a run for governor, both among supporters and Republicans who’ve used him as a boogeyman for fundraising purposes.
“My passion is and always will be public policy and I love working with Alaskans to solve the many challenges we face as a State,” he wrote. “Alaska is at a crossroads and you can be sure that no matter where I am I will do my part to help build a stronger, more secure future for all Alaskans.”
He closes the email asking for more input from his followers.
“As I think about this decision, I’d love to hear from you. Should I or shouldn’t I run for Governor? Do you think Alaska is on the right path? What are your biggest hopes and concerns for our future?”
When contacted, Begich said the email speaks for itself.
Begich would enter a race already occupied by Gov. Bill Walker, who this week filed to run for reelection as an independent, and Republican Sen. Mike Dunleavy, the only high-profile Republican to have filed for the seat so far.
Begich in the Senate
Begich won election in 2008 against the late, great Sen. Ted Stevens. His time in office saw a considerable allocation of power to the Alaska delegation, split between him and moderate Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Begich held seats on the powerful appropriations committee and the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
He was unseated in 2014 by U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan. The race wasn’t ultimately called for Sullivan until days after the election.