FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Multiple political debates took place throughout the interior Wednesday for highly contested positions within the state. Reporter Sara Tewksbury spoke with Gubernatorial Candidate Mark Begich.
Sara Tewksbury: "I'm here at UAF where candidates have been asked to talk to the public in a more informal setting. I'm joined now by democratic candidate Mark Begich for governor. Mark, thanks for joining us.
Mark Begich, (D) Gubernatorial Candidate: "Absolutely, it's a pleasure to be here."
ST: "So I know it's been a couple of crazy weeks and with Governor Walker suspending his campaign, how does that affect you and your campaign?
MB: "Well it does change it, and Governor Walker did an amazing courageous thing by stepping aside and making sure we focus on Alaska. He's always been about Alaska first. It's propelled us with a lot of momentum. I mean, we have seen tons of volunteers. We have an event tonight that we think is going to be full house. Last night we had an event for 50 people it turned out to be over 200 showed up. It is incredible momentum and where ever I go people are excited about what can happen and literally the next 13 days. So it has turned dynamics, but now we get to debate Mike Dunleavy. And I'm not sure what Dunleavy because there are kind of a couple of them because they have different views. He flip-flops a little bit, but it really changes the dynamics of the race for sure."
ST: "And there's just under two weeks until the election so what is the message you want to get to the voters?"
MB: "Well I want to make sure voters see the difference between the two candidates. You know, I'm running against a gentleman who has a record in the legislature not supporting the PFD nine different times, not protecting it. Now he claims he want so to protect it. Then he said he thinks a full dividend couldn't happen in today's paper, yesterday's. You know, I'm the only candidate in the race that wants to put in the constitution the protection of the permanent fund dividend, so people know it's here for the next generation. And I think there is a clear difference between us. I'm about the future; he's about the moment and the past. I think people will see the clear difference and the issues we have to face fighting crime, and education.
ST: "Well thank you so much. I appreciate it. And this is Sara Tewksbury reporting from UAF."