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Some of Alaska's 48 US House candidates are millionaires. Another is paying off student loans

Nathaniel Herz, Anchorage Daily News on

Published in Political News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Al Gross, an orthopedic surgeon running for U.S. House in Alaska as an independent, owns a rental property in California and part of an office building in Juneau.

One of his chief rivals, Republican Nick Begich, has six figures in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and litecoin, plus a stake worth at least $1 million in a software company he founded that now has more than 100 employees and offices in three countries.

Chris Constant, one of the Democrats in the race, is still paying off student loans.

Newly filed financial disclosures reveal huge wealth disparities that are shaping the special election between 48 candidates for Alaska’s sole House seat.

The documents, which federal law required from candidates this month, offer a glimpse of each one’s assets and business interests. They also underscore the advantages that personal wealth can bring to a congressional campaign.

Begich, who reported assets worth at least $10.8 million and as much as $46 million, has lent his own campaign $650,000, which represents more than half the cash he’s raised so far.

 

Gross, meanwhile, spent $730,000 of his own money on his unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid in 2020 — a campaign that laid the groundwork for his short-notice run this year. He reported assets, some held jointly with his wife, of at least $8.7 million and no more than $23 million.

The campaign of a third candidate, Republican former Gov. Sarah Palin, on Tuesday provided a copy of a report that it said had been filed with the U.S. House clerk, though the document was not yet posted to the clerk’s database.

Palin reported assets worth at least $950,000 and no more than $2.4 million, with much of that tied to a Wells Fargo savings account that holds between $500,000 and $1 million.

The sums that Begich and Gross have each disclosed spending on their campaigns, meanwhile, represent roughly 10 years of income for Alaska’s median household.

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