Stevens Loses Seat to Democrat Begich
Democratic Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich defeated Sen. Ted Stevens in the drawn-out race for Stevens’ Senate seat, the Anchorage Daily News reports.
Begich is ahead by 3,724 votes, with only 2,500 overseas ballots left to be counted.
On Election Day, Stevens appeared to have won by 1.5 percent of the vote, but that was before mail-in ballots had been counted. Begich had urged his supporters to vote early during his campaign. He made up the lost ground with absentee and early voters.
A week before Election Day, Stevens was convicted on seven felony counts of failing to disclose gifts worth about $250,000 from the oil services firm, Veco Crorp, on his Senate financial disclosures.
Many Alaskans saw the crime as petty or even technical. Others were simply devoted to the man who brought Alaska into the modern era — with billions in federal earmarks for infrastructure and other improvement projects.
Both these feelings have something to them. Later this week I plan to file a piece explaining how, in some respects, the scandal that ended Stevens’ career seems so small and petty when compared to other scandals that ensnared him and to the work he did for his beloved state.