Senator Mark Begich was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2008 after serving as the Mayor of Anchorage since April 2003. Born and raised in Anchorage, Senator Begich's priorities include focusing on a national energy policy that includes Alaska's oil and gas resources, an Alaska natural gas pipeline and the many renewable resources in Alaska. He is equally committed to improving the service and benefits for our nation's veterans who have served our country so honorably.
Since taking his seat in the Senate, Senator Begich has been appointed to the Senate Committee on Science, Commerce and Transportation, the Senate Committee on Armed Services, and the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. Senator Begich's service on the Commerce Committee includes assignments to the Subcommittee on Aviation; Subcommittee on Communications; Subcommittee on Competiveness, Innovation, and U.S. export Promotion; Subcommittee on Oceans, Fisheries, and Coast Guard; and the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation. In the Armed Services Committee Senator Begich serves on the Subcommittee on AirLand, the Subcommittee on Personnel, and the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.
A businessman for more than 20 years, Senator Begich is bringing his business acumen to the work in the Senate. His extensive experience in public office, along with service to dozens of non-profits and community groups, all add to his know-how and ability to get things done.
In 1988, at age 26, Senator Begich was the youngest person ever elected to the Anchorage Assembly where he served for nearly 10 years. During that time, his colleagues three times elected him chairman, Anchorage's second highest political office, and he also served as chair of the budget committee. During his time as mayor, Anchorage went through the biggest building boom in a generation, attracting millions of dollars worth of public and private investment. Through Begich's leadership, Anchorage voters supported the building of the new Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center, a $100 million expansion of the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, and a multitude of other projects that strengthened the city's economy. In October 2008, both the Wall Street Journal and Business Week recognized Anchorage as a city well positioned to weather the international economic crisis and the city's bond ratings were upgraded due to improved fiscal stability.
Senator Begich is married to Deborah Bonito, a successful businesswoman. They have a young son, Jacob. The Begich family enjoys spending time together reading, traveling, and enjoying the many great things Alaska has to offer.