Former Don Young campaign chair files against incumbent

ANCHORAGE (AP) — Seeking a 26th term in the U.S. House, Alaska Rep. Don Young will face a Republican challenger in 2022 with strong name recognition in the state.

Nicholas Begich III has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to challenge Young’s hold on the state’s sole seat in the U.S. House.

Young is only the fourth person to hold the seat since statehood and won it in a special election a year after Begich’s grandfather, Rep. Nick Begich, was declared dead after his plane went missing while flying to Juneau in 1972.

But unlike his grandfather and uncles former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and current state Sen. Tom Begich, all Democrats, Nicholas Begich III is a Republican.

“I think what I’ve been hearing from Alaskans is they’re ready to look forward, into the future,” the 44-year-old Begich told Alaska public radio last week.

Begich also has close ties to Young, whose campaign didn’t immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment. Young announced his reelection campaign and filed candidacy papers in April.

Begich served as a chairman of Young’s campaign in 2020, when he defeated independent Alyse Galvin.

Begich has hired Truman Reed to be his campaign manager. Reed was Young’s campaign manager in 2020 and has worked in Young’s congressional office.

Young, 88, is the longest serving Republican in the U.S. House and the last remaining member to have served during the President Richard Nixon era.

Begich lives in Chugiak and is executive director of a software development company. His grandmother, Pegge Begich, lost twice to Young in the 1980s. She ran as a Democrat.

A voter initiative passed last year calls for a single primary ballot, with the top four vote-getters advancing to the general election regardless of their party. Ranked-choice voting would be used for the general election.


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