Mark Peter Begich
(; born March 30, 1962) is the junior United States Senator
and a member of the Democratic Party
. A former mayor
, he served on the Anchorage Assembly
for almost ten years prior to being elected mayor in 2003. In the highly competitive 2008 Alaska Senate election
, Begich defeated incumbent Ted Stevens
, the longest serving Republican
member of the Senate of all time.
Born in Anchorage
, he is the son of U.S. Representative Nick Begich
, who disappeared and was presumed dead following a 1972 plane crash. He graduated from high school and has taken continuing education classes at University of Alaska Anchorage
, but does not have a college degree. At age 26 he was elected to the Anchorage Assembly. After serving as chairman for three years, he left the Assembly in 1998. Begich ran two unsuccessful campaigns for mayor in 1994 and 2000. He was finally elected in 2003, winning a narrow three-way race by 11 votes.
Begich handily won the Democratic nomination in the state's 2008 U.S. Senate election
. He faced longtime incumbent Republican Ted Stevens
, who was facing ethics and corruption charges during his re-election campaign. Stevens was convicted of felony violations a week before the election, and Begich won by a narrow margin.
A member of the Moderate Dems Working Group
, Begich is considered a moderate
Democrat. He is pro-choice
and supports ANWR drilling
, gun rights
, and benefits for same-sex......