Nick Begich III, speaks to Juneau residents at a public gathering in September 2022. Begich on Thursday announced on social media that he will again be running for the Alaska U.S. House seat in the 2024 election. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File).

Nick Begich announces bid for U.S. House, challenging Peltola again

He enters the race nearly 16 months ahead of the 2024 election.

Nick Begich, a Republican who in 2022 unsuccessfully sought Alaska’s lone seat in the U.S. House during the special and regular elections is again giving it another go — nearly 16 months ahead of the 2024 election.

Begich, 45, announced Thursday in a stream of Tweets he will again run for the seat currently held by Democrat Mary Peltola. The Bethel congresswoman won the position against both Begich, who finished third, and former Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican, who finished second in the races.

“What we are seeing in Washington is broken: lost opportunities for Alaskans, a focus on so many of the wrong priorities, big government lobbyists and insiders who are selling our nation to the highest bidder, and a President who often can’t find his own way off a stage,” he wrote. “It’s clear, we don’t have the voice we need in Congress, and I believe it’s time we restore that voice: for our families, for our communities, and for our future.”

Begich was considered a front-runner among the 48 candidates who sought the congressional seat following the unexpected death of longtime incumbent Don Young in March of 2022. But Begich and Palin split the Republican votes during the special and regular elections, which were the first in Alaska using voter-approved open primaries and ranked-choice voting, allowing Peltola to prevail.

If elected, the House seat would be Begich’s first position in election office. However, his family is filled with familiar faces throughout Alaska’s political ecosystem.

His grandfather, Nick Begich Sr., was a former Democratic congressman for Alaska in 1972, and his uncles Mark and Tom Begich held Democratic spots for the U.S. Senate and Alaska State Senate, respectively.

Among other Republicans seen as possibly running against Peltola is Kelly Tshibaka, who unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate last year against incumbent Lisa Murkowski and since has been involved in efforts to repeal the state’s ranked choice voting system. Palin, who also is actively opposing ranked choice voting, has not shown indications she intends to run for office again.

Begich enters his third campaign with a considerable amount of funds still owed from his previous runs, according to the Federal Elections Commission. A filing in April showed he had $450,000 in debts and obligations.

Begich, a businessman who founded a multimillion-dollar software company, largely financed his previous campaigns using his own funds.

Attempts by the Empire to reach Begich and Tskibaka on Thursday were unsuccessful.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807.

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