I assumed people would not know him by name, being an Anchorage mayor. Although everyone is mentioning the Stevens corruption (more on that later in the week,) I figured that Begich would be more known as just "the democrat" that is finally really challenging Stevens - and not well-known outside of Alaska.
Boy was I wrong.
From the more expected places, like the AFL-CIO rep at the delegate meeting (see earlier post) shouting (and I mean shouting!) "God bless Mayor Begich!" - to delegates to press to people we meet on the street and light-rail, the people are rooting for Begich. Some of them have asked us to "Tell Begich, 'Good job!'" or "Tell that Mayor of yours to keep it up!"
I met these two gentlemen (above) when they were talking right by me, and I overheard the name "Mark Begich." The guy on the left, from Trick or Vote (actually a pretty cool idea - take a look) laughed when I interrupted and asked if they were talking about Mayor Begich - "You must be from Alaska!"
But the guy on the right, the one who brought up the name Begich, is from London! (That's like the third guy I've met from London...) He's absolutely certain Begich will take the election.
These are two Texas delegates, and were so excited when they heard we were from Alaska. They are cheering on the "red to blue" movement, but were really cheering on Mark Begich. They gave us some encouraging messages to take back to him (I think everyone also assumes all Alaskans know all other Alaskans,) and actually knew a decent amount of his political and personal background.
Celtic Diva wears a Begich button, to which I've witnessed a few, "Mark Begich... hey, are you from Alaska?"
Just yesterday alone, I talked with people from Wisconsin, Colorado, California, Washington (state), Tennessee, Florida, West Virginia, New York, Rhode Island, Oregon, Iowa, Maryland, Texas and England who all knew of Mark Begich and his run for the U.S. Senate seat, and were cheering on Alaskans to get him there.