Begich says he’s being asked to join Senate race as a write-in

Former Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich says he's being asked to join the crowded race for the seat currently held by Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Murkowski is seeking re-election and facing opponents including Democrat Ray Metcalfe, independent Margaret Stock, and Joe Miller, who last week announced he would drop his Republican registration and seek Murkowski's seat as a Libertarian Party member.

In statements to KTVA and political blog The Midnight Sun, Begich declined to rule out a write-in campaign, saying he's been hearing from Alaskans asking him to consider a run.

Begich didn't respond to a phone message Monday, and a spokesperson, Rachel Barinbaum, said Begich didn't have any more to say than his emailed statement last week to The Midnight Sun.

"I'm getting a lot of calls from people who say they are not satisfied with their choices and they are not interested in seeing another Miller-Murkowski fight," Begich's statement said, referring to Murkowski's successful 2010 write-in campaign to keep her seat after Miller won the GOP primary.

Begich added: "I will keep listening to the people who are calling and will continue to consider the best ways to help my state in these challenging times."

Begich lost his one-term seat in 2014 to Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan.

Begich told KTVA he could make a decision about whether to run "as the time permits."

Democrat Metcalfe, a former Republican state legislator, is at odds with Democratic leaders, including Begich. Begich told KTVA he's not supporting Metcalfe.