During his tenure as U.S. Senator for Alaska, Begich earned the reputation of a hard-working, pragmatic problem-solver who was willing to work across party lines to get things done. Known for his tireless resolve, The Alaska Dispatch News said of him:
“He doesn’t blink at reality and knows how to deal. He may be the savviest politician in Alaska. No one will outwork him.”
Quickly rising to leadership positions, Begich was Chairman of both the Steering and Outreach Committee and the Oceans Subcommittee. He also served on influential committees including Appropriations, Commerce, Veterans, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Armed Services, and Indian Affairs.
In addition, Begich was appointed to the President’s Export Council, the national advisory board to the White House on important export and trade policy. Begich was also named Chair of the bipartisan U.S.-China Inter-parliamentary Group aimed at improving trade relations between the U.S. and China.
Prior to serving in the Senate, Begich was the Mayor of Anchorage for six years and served on the Anchorage Assembly for ten years.
Outside of public service, Begich has earned recognition not only as a successful businessman, but also as an engaged member of the community. From serving on the University of Alaska Anchorage Board of Regents, as the chair of the Alaska Student Loan Corporation and with the Alaska Commission on Post Secondary Education, he has sought out opportunities to enrich the future of Alaska wherever and however he can.
Begich looks forward to continuing to seek out opportunities to bring the time-honored Alaskan values of working together and finding common ground to solve problems.
Begich is married to Anchorage businesswoman Deborah Bonito and they have a young son, Jacob.
When it comes to climate change, some may want to debate the science or avoid the topic altogether, but Alaskans are living with the impact of climate change each and every day – and that means economic impacts. From oil & gas development to fish and even tourism, Alaska’s industries are living on the undeniable front lines of climate change – its time to pay attention.
When most people think about energy in Alaska, they think about the pipeline or ANWR or perhaps new development in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas – and those are all critical pieces of the puzzle. However, in Alaska, we are on track to have 50% of our energy produced by renewable energy. If we can make that work in a state that is 1/5 the size of the Lower 48, there is no reason why we can’t do that as a country on the federal level.
If America wants to maintain its global competitive edge, then we must make sure that college is within reach for students and families. In the Senate, Mark Begich supported legislation allowing students to borrow money at the same interest rate as banks – because if we invest in our kids today – we invest in the future of tomorrow. Coming from a family of teachers and the only Senator of his class who didn’t have the opportunity to attend college, Mark Begich has a unique perspective on what it means to prepare for the future.
With more veterans per capita than any other state and 80% of communities off the road system, Alaska faces no shortage of unique challenges when it comes to delivering quality services for our veterans. But when Mark Begich got to the Senate, he got to work making sure our veterans received the care they were promised. That is why by 2014, an audit of the Anchorage VA found that 99% of veterans were seen within 30 days. The rest of the country could and should learn from the Alaska model that Mark Begich helped build– our veterans cant afford to wait any longer.