Nick Begich and Mary Peltola both run to fill out Don Young’s term in congress

Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 11:40 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Nick Begich and Mary Peltola are both running for Alaska’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Republican Begich said he is running because Alaska needs a new generation of leadership. “I think that my experience and my background will help complement the people that we have in that national portfolio of ambassadors, the governor, our two senators, and the house member. I think it’s helpful if one of those folks comes from a substantial private sector background,” he said.

Begich wants to make what he calls the “business case” for Alaska. “I think that we really need to make sure that we’re opening up the State of Alaska. At the end of the day, we’re a resource state, always have been, right? And I think that it’s critically important that we take a look at all the resources that we have to offer, whether that be oil and gas, coal, critical minerals, rare earth elements, precious metals, base metals, timber, fishing, even tourism is a tremendous resource that we have in the State of Alaska.”

He said Alaska has always offered the potential for generational wealth. “That’s part of the mystique of Alaska. What’s possible? Our state motto ‘North to the Future’, right? That’s our future. It’s our shared future, and as we think about the future of the state, I think it’s really important that we look to the resources that we offer, both in the traditional energy economy and sort of the new energy economy that’s emerging over the next several decades.”

Peltola, meanwhile, said she is running because stability is needed in Alaska’s congressional delegation. “We have one of the smallest congressional delegations in the nation, and missing one person off a three-man team is a big loss, and I would really like to represent in the same way Don did in terms of representing all Alaskans and coming at things, in a lot of cases, with a very open mind and very open heart.”

Peltola said she would champion women’s reproductive rights, and wants to be part of a Congress that will bring balance to the Supreme Court. “I believe it’s a much more conservative court than we’ve seen in past years, and I think it’s important that we do have balance among the branches of our government. I think that’s the way our democracy was designed, is to have balance, and so I think recognizing the new nature of the Supreme Court that we have, I think we need a congress that is more receptive to the will of the public.”

According to Peltola, outside of Bristol Bay, many rivers in Alaska are seeing a decline in their salmon runs. “We don’t have healthy populations of salmon in western Alaska. The Kenai has had issues with their salmon. I think the Matanuska and Susitna Rivers have also had a real decline in salmon returns, so that’s one thing I’d like to work on.”

Peltola and Begich are running against Sarah Palin in the Special Election on August 16. The winner of this race will serve out the remainder of Don Young’s term, until January 2022.

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