Tags: republican | dan sullivan | defeats | mark begich | alaska | senate

Republican Dan Sullivan Defeats Alaska Incumbent Mark Begich

By    |   Wednesday, 12 Nov 2014 10:35 AM

Score one more U.S. Senate seat for Republicans as Dan Sullivan has ousted Democratic incumbent Mark Begich in Alaska. The Associated Press called the race for Sullivan late Tuesday night following the first day of counting early and absentee ballots.

Sullivan leads Begich by 7,911 votes, according to the latest tally. Even though Begich gained some ground on Tuesday, and thousands of ballots are left to be counted, the AP said “the results indicated that Begich could not overcome Sullivan’s lead.”

“I am deeply humbled and honored to be chosen by my fellow Alaskans to serve them in the United States Senate,” Sullivan said in a statement. “From day one we told our supporters that we would run a campaign that Alaskans could be proud of, and that’s what we did.”

Begich’s campaign is not conceding, the AP reported.

Sullivan’s victory gives the GOP a net gain of eight Senate seats in this year’s midterm elections. The party can add a ninth seat if Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) knocks off Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in next month’s Louisiana runoff election.

A vulnerable Democrat in a red state, Begich faced a tough reelection slog against Sullivan, the state’s former attorney general and director of natural resources.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — along with his running mate, then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — carried the state by almost 22 percentage points in 2008. But Begich, a former mayor of Anchorage, unseated GOP Sen. Ted Stevens, who had just been convicted in an ethics case that was thrown out later the same year.

Begich’s narrow 2008 victory, in which absentee ballots provided a decisive, 7,000-vote turnaround in his favor, was cited by the Begich camp as a cause for hope — even as Sullivan led by more than 8,000 votes on Election Night.

The Begich-Sullivan campaign included some hostile attack ads, including one from the Begich team that was eventually retracted in September amid a public outcry. The ad attempted to portray Sullivan as soft on crime during his tenure as the state’s attorney general.

That episode was seen as a rare lapse for Begich, who was credited with running a top-notch campaign. His TV ads were produced by Mark Putnam, a former Obama media consultant who has made some of this year’s most memorable ads for Democrats nationally.

Campaign spending from outside the state flooded into Alaska , led by the liberal super PAC Put Alaska First, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The AP did not make a call in the state’s close governor’s race: Independent Bill Walker leads GOP Gov. Sean Parnell by 4,004 votes, increasing his lead slightly on Tuesday.


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Score one more U.S. Senate seat for Republicans as Dan Sullivan has ousted Democratic incumbent Mark Begich in Alaska. The Associated Press called the race for Sullivan late Tuesday night following the first day of counting early and absentee ballots.
republican, dan sullivan, defeats, mark begich, alaska, senate
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2014-35-12
Wednesday, 12 Nov 2014 10:35 AM
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