ANCHORAGE – Several candidates have formally announced their intent to run for mayor of Anchorage in the 2015 election — Dan Coffey, Amy Demboski and, most recently, Andrew Halcro, among others. But buzz surrounding former Sen. Mark Begich’s return to the mayoral post continues.


Begich previously served two terms as mayor of Anchorage before his election to the Senate in 2008. After losing a re-election bid to now-U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, many are wondering whether Begich will return to his former post.


The title of a U.S. Senator put Begich in the national spotlight. When asked what he’d say to those who would consider a bid for Anchorage mayor as a backtrack in his political career, Begich says he views it all as public service, no matter the title.


“It’s not about the position you hold, it’s what you do with the position,” said Begich.


He says that over the years, he’s never planned on what office to run for.


“I’ve always just been very active in the community, in public service. Sometimes, a position opens up that I think I could run for and actually do some good. That’s the bottom line when I look at these issues.”


“A uniqueness of my position now as a former U.S. Senator, I think theres a lot of issues on a national level that I could help influence that would impact Alaska,” Begich said. “And that’s part of the equation of, do I serve in the mayor’s office, try to run for that office and use this new opportunity to try to help Alaska in a different level?”


Begich says, while he decides whether he’ll throw his hat into the ring, he’s been meeting with those who’ve decided to run for the Anchorage mayoral post.


“I live in the city and it’s my home,” Begich said. “And I want to make sure that whoever runs really thinks about the future of Anchorage. I think there’s a lot of need and making sure they do the right thing, that’s my interest.”


He says in the next few days, he’ll make a decision, as the filing deadline for mayoral candidates begins on Jan. 30.


 


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