Alaska Sen. Mark Begich is launching a 60-second biographical TV ad on Thursday, highlighting his long ties to the state as Republicans attempt to tether him to Washington in his re-election race.
The first-term Democrat faces a highly competitive campaign that's already seen attack ads fired from both sides. The new spot, his second one so far, was designed to cut through the negative ad barrage and emphasize Begich's work for Alaska interests.
Narrated by his wife Deborah Bonito, the ad is set to soft music and includes a portion of a campaign ad for Begich's father, Rep. Nick Begich, followed by a news clip covering the congressman's 1972 death in a plane crash. The ad then cuts to the senator walking toward a similar plane, the only way to travel to some of the state's remote population pockets.
"Mark was 10 when he lost his father," Bonito says. "We've lost too many Alaskans this way. But Mark is clearly his father's son, and there's nowhere he won't go to listen and stand up for Alaskans."
Bonito then notes Begich's efforts to open up Alaska for oil and gas drilling, strengthen the Coast Guard and defend local fishermen.
The ad is running statewide on broadcast and cable.
Begich won't know his Republican opponent until the Aug. 19 primary, but the negative ads are already flying. As GOP-aligned outside groups spend big against Begich, a super PAC supporting the incumbent has already launched TV ads against Republican Dan Sullivan, the front-runner for the nomination.
The race is rated Tilts Democrat by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.