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Mark Begich Targeted on Arctic Oil Drilling in New GOP TV Ad (Video)

Begich is being targeted on ANWR in a new TV ad. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Begich is being targeted on ANWR in a new TV ad. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Republican-aligned outside group is hitting Alaska Sen. Mark Begich for failing to persuade his party to support opening drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  

Utilizing a theme of broken campaign promises from 2008, when Begich defeated Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, the new TV ad from American Crossroads hammers the Democrat for both the percentage of votes on which he agreed with the president last year and the fact that Congress has not approved ANWR oil exploration.  

“We’ve had six years of Begich’s broken politics,” the ad’s announcer says. “Alaska needs a change.”  

Begich is being challenged by Republican Dan Sullivan in a GOP-leaning state and in the second midterm of an unpopular Democratic president. As one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the country and a critical target for national Republicans eyeing the Senate majority, the spot is the latest piece of the GOP’s argument that Begich does not in fact provide an independent voice for the state.  

The support of Alaska’s energy opportunities is an issue the incumbent continues to tout and has utilized as an example of how he puts his state’s interests above any agenda priorities of President Barack Obama.  

During a press conference in Fairbanks last week, Begich “rolled out his comprehensive plan for expanding oil and gas development in Alaska” and highlighted his efforts on energy exploration. “Mark will continue pushing legislation to permit responsible oil and gas development in ANWR,” his campaign stated in an Oct. 17 release.  

Republicans need a six-seat net gain to win the majority, and Alaska is a big piece. The race is rated Tilts Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.  

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