Embattled Sen. Begich's secret weapon: Alaska


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich wants Alaskans to know he's one of them and an independent voice against President Barack Obama.

It's a central theme of a campaign that has opened offices in far-flung communities, including Barrow, considered the northernmost city in the country.

And it's a message that puts the freshman senator in a position to benefit from his conservative state's strong nonpartisan streak, despite its overwhelming votes against Obama in 2008 and 2012.

For many voters, going with the person they know and trust matters more than party labels.

Republicans need six seats to reclaim the Senate, and they see Begich as vulnerable. They are casting the race as a referendum on Obama and Senate Democrats, charging that Begich is in lockstep with a liberal agenda.

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