Senator (Class 2)
ends in 2015
Mark Peter Begich (/ˈbɛɡɪtʃ/; born March 30, 1962) is the junior United States Senator from Alaska and a member of the Democratic Party. A former mayor of Anchorage, he served on the Anchorage Assembly for almost ten years prior to being elected mayor in 2003. In the 2008 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 former U.S. Representative Nick Begich, who was presumed dead following a 1972 plane crash. At 26, he was elected to the Anchorage Assembly. After serving as chairman for three years, he left the Assembly in 1988. Begich ran two unsuccessful campaigns for mayor in 1994 and 2000 before being elected in 2003, winning by eleven votes.
Begich won the Democratic nomination in the 2008 Senate election. He faced longtime incumbent Republican Ted Stevens. Stevens had been facing ethics and corruption charges and was convicted of felony violations a week before the election. After being elected, Begich became a member of the moderate Democratic caucus in the Senate. He is pro-choice, supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, gun rights, benefits for same-sex couples, and opposes the Patriot Act. Begich became the Chairman of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee in 2011.