JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Democratic Sen. Mark Begich (BEE'-gich) probably couldn't ask for a better start to his re-election campaign.
The state Republican Party is emerging from a chaotic year and is gearing up for a divisive primary as it hunts for a strong challenger to run against the freshman senator.
The state's new GOP chairman says the turmoil is "behind us now" and that he is confident Republicans will rally around their eventual nominee.
The question is who will it be?
For his part, Begich has a political pedigree, a wad of campaign cash and a reputation as a scrappy campaigner. And he brushes off the notion of anything short of a tough race even as he casts himself as a moderate in hopes of attracting voters from across the political spectrum.