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Nathaniel Herz

Many of the attacks on incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich have come from a national angle, seeking to tie him to his vote for the 2010 health care overhaul, and to the flagging popularity of President Barack Obama.

But a new set of negative ads has a decidedly local bent, taking aim at the time Begich spent as mayor of Anchorage, the largest city in the state, with 300,000 people...

Nathaniel Herz

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich said he opposes a proposal by the administration of President Barack Obama to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels to fight the militant group in the Middle East known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Begich weighed in Wednesday night after Obama made a national speech to lay out his plans for the region, which include combating the militants by training and arming the Syrian rebels and expanding American airstrikes in the region.

Breaking with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, Begich was quoted in a prepared statement as saying that he is "gravely concerned" by reports of the militants seizing American weapons intended for use by Syrian rebels...

Nathaniel Herz

A new analysis shows that the TV ads flooding Alaska’s airwaves this election cycle have predominantly come from Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and his allies, as opposed to his Republican opponent, Dan Sullivan, and the groups backing him.

A review by the Center for Public Integrity found that Begich and Democratic groups that support him ran 19,900 commercials between November and late August, while Sullivan and groups supporting him ran 13,400...

Nathaniel Herz

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s recent controversial television ad has drawn new scorn from a pair of sources: the nonpartisan fact-checking outlet PolitiFact and the popular television show hosted by Jon Stewart, “The Daily Show.”

In a segment Thursday night, Stewart lambasted the spot from Begich, which was released last week and features a retired Anchorage Police Department officer attacking Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan, a former state attorney general...

Nathaniel Herz

The Alaska Democratic Party has asked Maryland tax authorities to review tax credits received by Alaska Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan while he lived in a Washington, D.C., suburb.

The party’s chairman, Mike Wenstrup, wrote the Maryland taxation department’s director last week to ask for a review of what the party says are $4,500 in tax breaks that Sullivan and his family received between 2006 and 2008 when they purchased a house in Bethesda and declared it their “principal residence.”...

Nathaniel Herz

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and his Republican opponent Dan Sullivan both found time for campaign events in Juneau this week. But they won’t be seeing each other, much to the consternation of two local groups that had tried to coordinate a forum and a debate featuring both candidates.

The campaign for Sullivan, the state’s former attorney general and Natural Resources commissioner, didn’t respond to inquiries from the Alaska Native Brotherhood, which held a meet-and-greet session with Begich on Tuesday rather than the head-to-head debate the group wanted...

Nathaniel Herz

Alaska Independence Party candidate Vic Kohring withdrew from the U.S. Senate race Tuesday and urged his supporters to back Republican nominee Dan Sullivan instead.

Kohring, a former Republican state legislator who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion and bribery in 2011, said in an emailed statement that he didn't want to draw votes away from Sullivan that could tilt the election toward incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich.

"Withdrawing lessens the chances of that happening," the statement quoted him as saying. "I call on all Alaskans to join me in voting for Dan Sullivan as our new senator."

A spokesman for Begich's campaign declined to comment...

Nathaniel Herz

Alaska’s two major U.S. Senate candidates said they had pulled down a pair of political ads referencing a high-profile murder and sexual assault case , following a request from the attorney for the family of the victims.

The attorney, Bryon Collins, also sent a letter over the weekend blaming incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen. Mark Begich for creating an “emotional storm” for his clients, and raising questions about whether the ads could taint the jury pool in the suspect’s upcoming trial...

Nathaniel Herz

One of the few areas in which incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and his Republican challenger Dan Sullivan see eye to eye is their position on the more than $12 million spent this year by outside groups seeking to influence the outcome of their election.

Begich and Sullivan both decry all that money, not associated with the campaigns, which has flooded television and radio stations with thousands of negative advertisements , driven up prices and shut state candidates and local groups out of the market...

Nathaniel Herz

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich faced his Republican challenger, Dan Sullivan, for the first time Wednesday evening in a debate in Anchorage, with the two candidates drawing sharp distinctions between their visions of the state’s future and its path over the nearly six years since Begich was elected.

The contrast was stark, with Begich seeking voters’ support for another term in Washington, D.C., where he said he’d worked with other lawmakers to push forward pragmatic solutions to challenges like health care costs, the nation’s immigration crisis, and its slow economic recovery from the 2008 recession.

Begich’s attitude was perhaps best summarized by remarks in his closing statement...

Nathaniel Herz