Sen. Mark BegichMark Peter BegichAlaska Senate race sees cash surge in final stretch Alaska group backing independent candidate appears linked to Democrats Sullivan wins Alaska Senate GOP primary MORE (D-Alaska) has conceded his hard-fought race to Sen.-elect Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), giving the GOP what's likely to be a 54-seat Senate majority heading into next Congress.
The Associated Press called the race for Sullivan last week, but Begich refused to concede until 30,000 remaining ballots were counted. Sullivan leads Begich by 48 percent to 45 percent with most of the vote now counted.
Begich says he called Sullivan to congratulate him on Monday. Both have been in Washington, D.C. for Congress's lame duck session since the middle of last week.
"When I spoke with Dan Sullivan today, I encouraged him to adopt a bipartisan resolve in the Senate. Alaska is ill-served by the partisan fights that don't reflect our state's unique needs and priorities," Begich said.
"Alaska is a place unmatched by any other, and the opportunity to represent Alaskans and all of Alaska's communities in the U.S. Senate has been a tremendous honor for which I am eternally grateful," Begich said. "Alaska deserves a bright future with expanded economic opportunity, equality for all Alaskans under the law, and a strong and prosperous rural Alaska. As a born and raised Alaskan, I will always be involved in my community, and the results of an election have never diminished my desire or passion to achieve these goals."
Sullivan released a statement regarding their phone conversation, saying he “thanked Senator Begich for his service, and we agreed on the importance of a smooth transition process.”
If Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) defeats Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuCassidy wins reelection in Louisiana Bottom line A decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth MORE (D-La.) in next month's Senate runoff, which polls indicate is likely, Republicans will hold 54 Senate seats after pickng up eights seats in this year's elections.