A Republican Begich runs for Alaska’s US House seat, challenging Rep. Young

Nicholas Begich III on a visit to Sitka. (Courtesy of Nicholas Begich)

Nicholas Begich III has filed federal paperwork to run for Alaska’s sole U.S. House seat, the same seat once held by his grandfather, Congressman Nick Begich. 

“I think what I’ve been hearing from Alaskans is they’re ready to look forward, into the future,” said Begich, 44.

Also in the race: Congressman Don Young, the only person to represent Alaska in the U.S. House since Congressman Begich disappeared on a charter flight to Juneau in 1972.

This Begich, unlike his grandfather, is a Republican. He’s the nephew of state Sen. Tom Begich and former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, both Democrats.

He was also a chairman of Congressman Young’s campaign in 2020. Begich’s campaign manager for his U.S. House run is Truman Reed, who was Young’s campaign manager in 2020 and worked in his congressional office.

Begich said he hasn’t discussed with Young the idea that the congressman would step aside and consider Begich a good successor. He calls it a possibility.

“There’s an eventuality here as well,” Begich said. “I mean, at some point, you know, the congressman, at 88 years old, has served the state for nearly 50 years. And I think folks recognize that there’s a limit to the amount of time left for him to do so.”

Young’s campaign did not respond to emailed questions. Young filed for re-election this summer and has nearly half a million dollars in his campaign account.

Begich is the executive chairman of a software development company and lives in Chugiak. He recently finished a fellowship with Club for Growth, a national group that’s a heavyweight in the support of Republican candidates.

His grandmother, Pegge Begich, also ran for Alaska’s U.S. House seat in the 1980s. She lost to Young twice in the 1980s.

Also in the 2022 race: Gregg Brelsford, Shannon Scott Evans and Randy Purham — all Republicans.

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Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at lruskin@alaskapublic.org.

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