After a phone call to Sen.-elect Dan Sullivan, which I heard was “short,” Sen. Mark Begich officially conceded on Monday evening. (Read my take on why Begich lost here.) The ballots are still trickling in, but as of Monday, Sullivan has 6,211 more votes than does Begich. Here’s Begich’s concession statement in full, which people are saying is a little short of gracious, followed by Sullivan’s statement:
Alaska is a place unmatched by any other, and the opportunity to represent Alaskans and all of Alaska’s communities in the U.S. Senate has been a tremendous honor for which I am eternally grateful. Alaska deserves a bright future with expanded economic opportunity, equality for all Alaskans under the law, and a strong and prosperous rural Alaska. As a born and raised Alaskan, I will always be involved in my community, and the results of an election have never diminished my desire or passion to achieve these goals.
I’m proud of the work my team and I accomplished to open the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska to development, to move forward Arctic oil exploration, and to protect Alaska’s postal service. Saving the F-16’s in Fairbanks, protecting missile defense at Fort Greely, and securing two new squadrons of F-35’s for Eielson Air Force Base will spur the largest economic investment in Interior Alaska since the construction of TAPS.
I consider one of my most significant accomplishments to be the new national model of caring for our veterans, allowing the men and women who served our nation to receive health care at local health clinics and hospitals without traveling to VA facilities. This accomplishment proves that Alaska is a place of unbelievable possibilities and that we never shy away from a challenge.
During this campaign, I put my record of delivering for Alaska front and center, and it’s why this election was one of the closest races in the country despite over ten million dollars of attacks from Outside groups and their partisan narrative. These accomplishments are not red or blue results, they’re Alaska results, and the final margin of this election and the clear support I received from independent voters affirms that.
When I spoke with Dan Sullivan today, I encouraged him to adopt a bipartisan resolve in the Senate. Alaska is ill-served by the partisan fights that don’t reflect our state’s unique needs and priorities.
My entire family is grateful to every Alaskan who supported my campaign, from stories of my father campaigning in rural Alaska to a donation of a single dollar in Bristol Bay. Everyone who supported my campaign can proudly say we ran a campaign built and powered by Alaskans, not Outside interests. Over 10,000 Alaskans donated to and volunteered for this campaign because we charted a clear course and positive vision for Alaska instead of following a partisan script crafted by Outside power brokers and billionaires who want to buy power in Washington.
Rural Alaska made its voice heard loud and clear in the election, and I am overwhelmed by the record levels of support I received from villages and hubs across the state. It has been an honor to travel Alaska to meet with Alaskans in their homes, tribal halls and businesses to hear their needs and concerns. Being born and raised in Anchorage, I’m also proud to have won ten of Anchorage’s sixteen legislative districts, a testament to my past and present service to my community.
Here’s Sullivan’s statement:
Earlier today I spoke with Senator Begich, who congratulated me on my election to serve Alaskans in the U.S. Senate. I thanked Senator Begich for his service, and we agreed on the importance of a smooth transition process. The responsibility of representing and serving Alaskans comes first. I look forward to doing the job that Alaskans elected me to do, and to begin the process of turning our country around and building a brighter future for Alaska.