As a lifelong Alaskan with decades of experience in public service and business, Mark Begich has spent his career working to make Alaska the best place to live and raise a family.
In 2003, Mark was elected as Mayor of Anchorage, where he served two terms, and oversaw the biggest building boom in Anchorage in a generation, balanced the city budget while earning top grades from bond rating agencies, grew the economy, strengthened relations with Alaska Natives and other minority groups, and reduced crime.
In 2008, Mark was elected to the United States Senate where he earned the reputation of a no-nonsense problem-solver who was willing to work across party lines to get things done. Defying party labels and drawing on his business background, Mark broke down bureaucratic barriers to do what was right for Alaskans and built an impressive record of accomplishments on key Alaska issues such as fisheries, travel & tourism, transportation, resource development, tribal and Alaska Native interests, the Arctic, education, veterans, commerce, housing and more. Some of the highlights from Mark’s time in the Senate include:
- Mark helped bring more than $2 billion to Alaska as part of the Recovery Act – more dollars per capita than any other state in the country
- Mark created the Heroes Health Card allowing Indian Health Service clinics to treat non-Native veterans
- Mark put a hold on a 4-star General as part of his successful effort to block a plan to relocate the F-16 squadron from Eielson Air Force Base
- Mark helped members of the National Guard or National Reserve gain access to seats on military planes, a perk previously limited to active-duty soldiers
Anchorage born and raised, Mark’s parents moved to Anchorage in the Alaska Territory to be teachers in 1957. When Mark was 10 years old, he lost his father, Congressman Nick Begich, when his plane went down over the Gulf of Alaska. Mark has never forgotten the strong Alaska values and call for community service that defined his childhood.
Mark is married to Deborah Bonito, a successful Anchorage business owner. Together, they have a teenage son, Jacob