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On the Saturday after the filing deadline closed and Mark Begich turned Alaska’s gubernatorial race on its head by announcing he would run on the Alaska Democratic Party’s ticket, the former former U.S. senator stopped by Fairbanks for a whirlwind afternoon tour. About 20 minutes of that included sitting down in a coffee shop with your humble editor of The Midnight Sun.

Former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich put the truth to long-standing rumors on Friday by jumping in the Democratic primary for governor. That move prompted incumbent Gov. Bill Walker, who is running as an independent, to bypass the party primary and focus on collecting signatures to face Begich and the Republican nominee in the November general election.

“You know me. You have known my family for decades. And you know that I don’t sit on the sidelines when there is a problem to be solved,” Begich wrote. “That’s why I am running for Governor because I know that together we can build a safer, stronger future for all Alaskans.”