Sen. Begich Won't Concede Race

Senate Commerce Committee member Mark Begich (D-Alaska) has yet to concede defeat in his close race with Republican Dan Sullivan, one of two outstanding results that will help determine just how large a margin the Republicans gained in the Senate.

“From Southeast Alaska to the North Slope, every Alaskan deserves to have their vote counted. Senator Begich is proud to have run the most extensive campaign in rural Alaska’s history and to have stood for the rights of Alaska Natives and rural Alaska," his campaign manager, Susanne Fleek-Green, said in a statement after early returns showed the senator trailing by only a few thousand votes. "Begich will make a statement on the race after counts arrive from the seventy outstanding villages and when the number of outstanding absentee and questioned ballots is clear.”

That was followed Nov. 5 with the following: "Inspired by stories of village elders being lifted onto four wheelers to go vote and Alaskans traveling up and down river to cast their ballots, Alaskans for Begich is anxious for a final count of all of Alaskans’ ballots and respects the procedures, process and timetable of the Alaska Division of Elections.”

The Alaska Division of Elections had Sullivan with 110,203 votes (48.74%) and Begich with 102,054 votes (45.13%). It will take close to two weeks to count the remaining absentee ballots.

The Republican majority is currently at 52, and would go to 53 with a Sullivan win, with 54 a possibility depending on the outcome of a run-off in Louisiana next month.

Begich has been a strong voice for rural broadband.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.