While Republicans are focusing on the Aug. 19 primary election, incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is looking ahead to November’s general election.


Begich and his supporters spent the weekend trying to ensure he keeps his seat. On Saturday, he hosted a rally at the Eagle River Pain and Wellness center.


“Today is an example of a lot of our efforts year-round, to just really connect, to make sure voters understand the record that I have,” Begich said at Saturday’s event.


He also thanked volunteers for their work.


“This is important. This makes a difference in the campaign, and it really augments what we have already,” said Begich.


The senator says over 5,000 Alaskans have donated to his campaign. He added that the numbers show a cross support behind him from Democrats, Republicans and Independents.


That support includes campaign volunteers like Anna Bondarenko, who spent Saturday knocking on doors in Eagle River.


“I really believe that what he’s doing is good for Alaskans, for everybody, regardless of your party affiliation,” said Bondarenko.


When asked how confident he is going into the general election, Begich said he felt good about the progress his team has made thus far.


“But it’s going to be a tight race,” he said. “I’ve always believed this. It’s probably going to be a 1 or 2 percent race when we’re all done, so it’s important that people get out and become knowledgeable about the issues.”


The senator says what sets him apart from his opponents is his diverse background. Begich says he’s served in the private sector and also in public service, experiences he hopes will carry him to a second term.


The other Democratic candidate running against Begich is William Bryk, an attorney who lives in Brooklyn, New York. Bryk is also running for U.S. Senate in Idaho and Oregon.


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