Begich concedes the Senate race

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.


15 thoughts on “Begich concedes the Senate race

  1. Sullivan supporter

    Begich is definitely delusional and he definitely has a mental disorder. He is narcissist for sure. He lives in a warped reality of his own twisting. He never conceded, lied through all of this, essentially cursed us all for firing him and started every angry, ranting, self-aggrandizing paragraph with “I” or “My.” No class. No common sense. No humility. No respect. Pure entitlement and pompous speech.

    Mark Begich, you voted with Obama 98% of the time and against Alaska. You only won last time because you kicked Sen. Stevens when he was down and you played the pity card over your father’s death. You ran a dirty, lying campaign this time and Alaskans saw through you. You belittle every Alaskan who wasn’t “born and raised here,” as if we are second-class citizens because you had nothing else to throw at Sen-elect Sullivan. Maybe if you left the state to go to college and earn a degree or serve in the military, like Sen-elect Sullivan did, you wouldn’t have such a small, ignorant and insular mentality.

    And your utter disrespect for Sen. Murkowski when she told you to stop using a photo of her to lie to voters that you and she were a team is indicative of YOUR war on women. You then lied and said the senator only asked you to stop using it because “she doesn’t like the photo,” thereby reducing her to a vain and petty teenager girl who didn’t like her hair that day. And worse, insinuating that she isn’t smart enough to know herself or what she wants as well as you do. At least she had the intelligence and ambition to go to college and learn something. You’re just a deceitful politician. All you have in life, Mr. Begich, is your reputation. You’ve earned yours in the last 6 years.

    It brings me great pleasure to inform you that, despite your refusal to concede for 2 weeks, you’re fired! Never return to public service or we will use your words here against you in an ad. Get a job and learn some humility, if possible. The cement may be dry for you.

  2. meg

    Jon this is ridiculous. Mark Begich would never have voted against Alaska’s interests on these issues for outside support. You cannot name a single resource development issue important to Alaska on which Mark Begich sided with national liberal or environmental groups. But, the Koch brothers national agenda has far more to do with extreme right wing politics than resource development or the unique needs of Alaska (federal spending, etc.). Dan Sullivan is aligned with the Koch brothers in lock step. Mark Begich voted against the will of the national party and Obama, and did so again today. Dan Sullivan is a climber, you of all people know that. He will do what he needs to do to climb, Alaska is just a step. The Koch brothers and national party politics are far more essential to his climb than the unique interests of Alaskans.

  3. Proud to be Outside Born/Proud to be Alaskan

    “A little short of gracious?” There is nothing gracious in this non-concession. Every paragraph started with an “I,” or “Me.” It’s remarkable that he can’t see himself for the pompous, selfish, entitled, insulting, dishonest politician that he is. He lied throughout the campaign and received the distinctive dishonor of having “pants on fire.” I agree with the commenter who said he might be mentally ill. I believe he is mentally ill. Narcissism is a mental disorder.

    The commenter who compared him to an emperor cursing the peasants is spot on! This one should be published in Alaska’s history books as the most disgraceful ‘concession’ letter from one of the most disgraceful politicians in our history. Anyone know a worse one?

    I am so sick of his insular mentality and his ridiculous digs at the Alaskans he deems beneath him because they weren’t born and raised in Alaska. He relished every opportunity and even invented 2 opportunities in this letter to use it as an attack on Sen-elect Dan Sullivan that he was born outside of Alaska. How unthinkable to such a small mind that anyone born outside of Alaska might have anything to contribute to our great state. Clearly, that’s all you had against Dan Sullivan but we had substantive things against you when we went to the polls. You voted against Alaska and for Obama 98% of the time. You lied throughout your campaign and falsely accused Sen-elect Sullivan of being responsible for the Jerry Active crimes, even after the family asked you to stop running your spurious ads. You showed great disrespect for Sen. Murkowski when she asked you to stop using a photo of the two of you together for your political gain, insinuating that you worked well together. When she asked you to stop using it, you belittled her like a petty, vain teenaged girl. You said, “She just doesn’t like the picture.” The thinly veiled translation: “She didn’t like how her hair looked that day. She doesn’t know herself as well as I know her.” And then you join in on the outrageous lie that the Republicans waged a war against women? And you have the audacity to say that you ran a good campaign? If this weren’t so egregious, it would be laughable.

    Sen. Begich — THE ONLY REAL ALASKANS are native Alaskans. We are ALL transplants from somewhere else, whether it’s first, second, or third generation. But, we are ALL Alaskans. And that seat in the U.S. Senate belongs to us, not you. You were not a good steward of it and we took it back. The only reason you won the last time was because you kicked a man when he was down and ran against Sen. Stevens, profiting from his convictions and manipulating people’s emotions because of your father’s death. You didn’t win for any other reason. Now, you had an honorable opponent who has exponentially more experience, grace and class than you do and he ran a good and honest campaign and won the people’s votes.

    You voted against Alaska and for Obama just about every time. We voted against you. We should all save this ‘concession’ — which is really a self-aggrandizing speech and bring it up in the unfortunate event that he decides to run for public office again.

    Mr. Begich, you’re fired. Please don’t run for office again. Please get a real job and learn some humility, if at all possible. The cement may already be dry.

  4. Andy

    Classless is indeed the appropriate response to that delusional political pablum.
    What was even worse about his self-aggrandizing stump speech is his insistence
    that his public service has actually made things better. Really ? Are you serious?

    I think he will be in the power mix forever, somehow slipping through the cracks and
    be elected to something. After all, they don’t call him the asterisk kid for nuthin.

  5. Carol

    Even in defeat, Begich seems to be compelled to lie. This statement is classless. It resonnates with resentment and simply falsehoods. Accusing your opponent in a concession statement of bringing in outside money when in fact your own campaign had more outside dollars spent is unbelieveably bizzare. As odd as it sounds, I question Begich’s mental sanity. Glad he will not be out senator soon. I would never vote for this guy again.

  6. Cynic

    Since everyone seems to agree that billionaires are basically purchasing our elections and politicians, why don’t we just remove the impediments they face and just do away with legislators? Just think of how much further the billionaires could push their agendas if they weren’t being forced to spend their hard earned money on pesky trivialties like media saturation and lobbying firms? If they didn’t have to try to maintain the appearance of propriety, and everyone just let go of their illusions of democracy, things could get done much more efficiently.

  7. Jon K

    This is a good point – which group of billionaires is more aligned with the interests of this state? If we narrowly define those interests to mean resource development so we have jobs and revenue to fund state services, who is more aligned with Alaska – the outside money behind Begich or the outside money behind Sullivan? Which groups want to open up the NPRA and the OCS? Which groups oppose those efforts? Which groups support the EPA making land use decisions on state lands and which oppose?

  8. Sam P.

    Begich needed to write it and then sleep on it, then edit it. Sending out that concession letter with such a complaining tone showed the poor judgment of an immature personality, not a statesman.

  9. birchstick

    That’s how billionaires’ contributions work, Art. “We give you piles of cash, you vote how we want you to vote.” Why would you think the Koch brothers, of all people, would be any different? These guys are 50 times richer than Steyer, and probably spent that equivalent ratio this election season thanks to CU. You’ll have to pardon my skepticism, but I don’t really think the Kock brothers have the interests of the middle class as their chief priority. That went away many billions ago.

  10. Art

    Terribly sad, inappropriate and hypocritical statement. Mark received more outside funding than Sullivan – and from the likes of environmental activist zillionaire Tom Steyer. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that the Koch brothers, and many others equally committed to seeing a free and prosperous America with a strong middle class, simply supported candidates who espoused similar ideals. There is never going to be a knock on the door from a Koch brother saying “Dan Sullivan – we have come to tell you how to vote”. Idiotic… This letter will rightly haunt Begich’s inevitable political aspirations.

Comments are closed.