Begich unveils consulting firm, will work in aviation and health care

Former Alaska U.S. Sen. Mark Begich said Saturday that he’d founded a consulting firm and would work for a health care trade organization and an Alaska airline, Grant Aviation.

Begich, a one-term Democrat who last year lost his re-election bid to Republican Dan Sullivan, said in a press release that he’d been hired by the airline and by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.

The announcement ends speculation that Begich, a former Anchorage mayor, could enter the race to take back his old job. This year’s mayoral election is in April, and left-of-center candidates have been waiting to announce their intentions until Begich, who had acknowledged considering a bid, made up his mind.

In a phone interview late Saturday, Begich said he received an “enormous amount” of encouragement to run for mayor, and thought he could win the race. But he ultimately wanted a job that would allow his son, Jacob, to finish his last two years of middle school in Washington, D.C.

“Political office can come and go but seventh and eighth grade only come once,” Begich said. “I might be chaperoning a few more dances than he thought.”

Begich and his family will continue splitting their time between Washington, D.C., and Alaska, and he said he would maintain his Alaska residency.

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