Democrat incumbent Senator Mark Begich has finally conceded the Alaska Senate race to Republican challenger Dan Sullivan nearly a week after the Associated Press called the race for Sullivan.
Begich had initially refused to concede the race, citing concerns over uncounted ballots. The race dragged on until last Wednesday, when the AP finally declared Sullivan the winner. In his concession, Begich jabbed at Sullivan about the need for bipartisanship, and hinted at a return to politics.
“When I spoke with Dan Sullivan today, I encouraged him to adopt a bipartisan resolve in the Senate,” Begich said in a statement. “Alaska is ill-served by the partisan fights that don’t reflect our state’s unique needs and priorities.”
The 52-year-old hinted in his concession that he might not be finished with politics. His 500-word statement listed a series of accomplishments, from expanding energy production to protecting military bases, during his six years.
“As a born and raised Alaskan, I will always be involved in my community, and the results of an election have never diminished my desire or passion to achieve these goals,” he said.
Sullivan seems ready to go to work, citing a desire to serve on committees that address issues related to commerce, public works, and the environment.
All eyes are now turned to Louisiana, where Republican challenger Bill Cassidy enjoys a double-digit lead in the Senate race over embattled incumbent Mary Landrieu. If Cassidy wins (and that “if” is slowly morphing into a “when,” even in the eyes of Democrats) Republicans will enjoy a 9 seat pickup and a thin majority in the upper chamber.
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