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Mark Begich

Mark Begich
Personal data
Date of birthMarch 30, 1962(age 54)
Place of birthAnchorage, Alaska
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseDeborah Bonito
Relationsson of U.S. Representative Nick Begich (1932-1972),
brother of Nick Begich, Jr.
ChildrenJacob Begich
ResidenceAnchorage, Alaska
Alma materSteller Secondary School
ReligionRoman Catholic
Assumed officeJanuary 3, 2009
Serving with Lisa Murkowski
Preceded byTed Stevens
Mayor of Anchorage, Alaska
In officeJuly 1, 2003 - January 3, 2009
Succeeded byMatt Claman
Preceded byGeorge Wuerch
Member of the Anchorage Assembly
In officeOctober 1988 - April 1998
Succeeded byMelinda Taylor
Preceded byWray E. "Brad" Bradley

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Mark Peter Begich ( ; born March 30, 1962) is the junior United States Senator from Alaska and a member of the Democratic Party. A former mayor of Anchorage, he served on the Anchorage Assembly for almost ten years prior to being elected mayor in 2003. In the highly competitive 2008 Alaska Senate election, Begich defeated incumbent Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican member of the Senate of all time.

Born in Anchorage, he is the son of U.S. Representative Nick Begich, who disappeared and was presumed dead following a 1972 plane crash. He graduated from high school and has taken continuing education classes at University of Alaska Anchorage, but does not have a college degree. At age 26 he was elected to the Anchorage Assembly. After serving as chairman for three years, he left the Assembly in 1998. Begich ran two unsuccessful campaigns for mayor in 1994 and 2000. He was finally elected in 2003, winning a narrow three-way race by 11 votes.

Begich handily won the Democratic nomination in the state's 2008 U.S. Senate election. He faced longtime incumbent Republican Ted Stevens, who was facing ethics and corruption charges during his re-election campaign. Stevens was convicted of felony violations a week before the election, and Begich won by a narrow margin.

A member of the Moderate Dems Working Group, Begich is considered a moderate Democrat. He is pro-choice and supports ANWR drilling, gun rights, and benefits for same-sex couples. He opposes the Patriot Act. Begich has generally supported President Barack Obama's legislative agenda, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009 and the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010. Begich became the Chairman of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee in 2011.

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