Begich, Bye, Palin and Peltola run for U.S. House of Representatives

We're concluding our series of candidate profiles by looking at candidates for Alaska's seat in the US house of Representatives.
Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 5:29 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Republicans Nick Begich and Sarah Palin, Libertarian Chris Bye and incumbent Democrat Mary Peltola are running for Alaska’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Begich said Alaska has always offered the possibility of generational wealth. “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 this traditional energy economy, and sort of the new energy economy that’s emerging over the next several decades, Alaska has a role to play. We can build a tremendous set of opportunities, not just for ourselves, but for generations to come.”

Begich wants to see Alaska push back against Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies in corporate decision making. “That threatens to shut down some of the major engines of economic activity in the State of Alaska. I think that’s a real challenge. It’s a major headwind for the state, and I think it comes from failing to make an effective business case for the state down in D.C. and internationally.”

According to Begich, people need to step up to serve at all levels of government. “Whether that be at school boards, or city assemblies or state house office, state senate, or some of these statewide races, we’ve got to refresh leadership, and this is something that I’ve felt like I was able to contribute something new to the conversation, coming from that business perspective, coming from that private sector perspective.”

Bye is also running for the seat. He said he is running because he couldn’t sit on the sideline any more. “We cannot run our lives in fear. We can’t vote in fear because the other team might win. If we’re always voting in fear, we’re never using our conscience,” he said, adding, “I’m not going to hold my nose one more time and vote for the lesser of two evils. I will not do it. My kids deserve better.”

Bye hopes his run inspires more Alaskans to run for office. “This state has an abundance of incredibly bright people. I mean, I met so many bright people out in the bush, or out in Delta, or in Matsu, or in Anchorage, that would be better suited sitting in this chair than me, and I would vote for them in a heartbeat.”

Alaska should have more control of its natural resources, he said. “Whether it be fisheries management or fossil fuels, or minerals or rare earth minerals, whatever, I would like to have the ability to manage that on our own. I simply think, again, with the bright people that live here and the professionals that we’re producing here out here at UAF, these things are attainable.”

Peltola is seeking reelection to the U.S. House.

She said she wants to represent all Alaskans and get away from extreme partisanship. “I’d like to see an Alaska with adequate and affordable housing, adequate and affordable health care options, a good education system like the one I really benefitted from, and abundant resources.

Peltola would like to see Alaska get back to the abundance of the oil boom days. “We had a robust economy. Our natural resources were flourishing. We had record-breaking years of all of our salmon species in Alaska. Right now, so many species are struggling, and we’ve got to get our arms around that.”

She sees climate change as a major challenge facing Alaska. “We had 250 wildfires going at once. This is really not something we’ve experienced in Alaska before. In November, it was the coldest November or record, followed by one of the warmest Decembers we’ve ever seen. Those are real threats.”

Newscenter Fairbanks reached out to Palin’s campaign, but was unable to schedule an interview.