My first run at political office was against future U.S. Senator Mark Begich. Election Day was April 18, 1995. I’ll always remember that day because I awoke on the 19th expecting to see election news, but rather saw reports of an explosion at the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. National news alerts, a result of actions by terrorist Timothy McVeigh, were all about the deaths and carnage in Oklahoma City. I’ll never forget that terrible day.
I was 25 pounds lighter after a hard fought battle against a powerful incumbent. Mark Begich and I engaged in a tough campaign, but never went into the gutter. Although I disagreed with his policies, I held respect for Mark (and still do). Some of his surrogates played dirty pool, but I remained steadfast in conducting my affairs above board and with full transparency.
For those who haven’t traveled down the political path, please know it is a sacrificial activity. I paid a huge price for my candidacy, but wouldn’t change anything I did. Although it’s been many years, I do want to once more thank those unsung heroes who helped behind the scenes like Susan Fischetti, my campaign manager; Tuckerman Babcock, my political strategist; dozens of sacrificial contributors like Stephen and Erdmuthe Johnston; my family for their loving support; and Mark Begich for remaining true to his word to wage an honorable fight.
Many good individuals appeared on ballots throughout our nation yesterday and I tip my hat to them for their sacrifices and hard work; regardless of their success or failure to win the votes they needed in their quest for victory.
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