Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens loses re-election bid
Michael R. Blood, Associated Press Writer – 4 mins ago
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican in Senate history, narrowly lost his re-election bid Tuesday, marking the downfall of a pillar of the U.S. Senate and Alaska icon who apparently couldn't survive his conviction on federal corruption charges. His defeat to Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich moves Senate Democrats closer to a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority.
Stevens' ouster on his 85th birthday marks an abrupt realignment in Alaska politics and will alter the power structure in the Senate, where he has served since the days of the Johnson administration while holding seats on some of the most influential committees in Congress.
The crotchety octogenarian built like a birch sapling likes to encourage comparisons with the Incredible Hulk, but he occupies an outsized place in Alaska history. His involvement in politics dates to the days before Alaska statehood, and he is esteemed for his ability to secure billions of dollars in federal aid for transportation and military projects. The Anchorage airport bears his name; in Alaska, it's simply "Uncle Ted."
Tuesday's tally of just over 24,000 absentee and other ballots gave Begich 146,286, or 47.56 percent, to 143,912, or 46.76 percent, for Stevens.
A recount is possible.