Tuesday, November 18, 2008

democrats take alaskan senate seat

Last week, we told you about three Senate races to watch, as Democrats continued to fight in different parts of the country in too-close-to-call election bids.

At least one of them is going to have a happy ending.

While we wait for the runoff in Georgia and the recount in Minnesota, the tallies are nearly complete in Alaska and it appears that Sen. Ted Stevens, the long-standing Alaskan Republican known in his state as "Uncle Ted", will lose his seat to Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.
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 slim margin by which Begich has prevailed may trigger a recount, but reports say that the remaining ballots to be counted come from Anchorage, where Begich is the mayor.

Stevens' downfall was being indicted and found guilty of seven charges of making false statements. The lame duck senator could face up to five years of prison for each count.

Things are looking up on Sarah Palin's cold frontier.

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