Alaskans Give Stevens Hero's Welcome

After corruption conviction, GOP senator begins 5-day marathon reelection bid
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Oct 30, 2008 11:45 AM CDT
Ted Stevens speaks at a rally to welcome the Alaska senator home yesterday.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Sen. Ted Stevens returned home to Alaska to jump-start his reelection campaign yesterday, proclaiming his innocence and asking for the votes of 500 supporters at a rally. “Like most people, I'm not perfect,” said the 84-year-old Republican, who plans to appeal his conviction on federal corruption charges, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

“We trust you,” chanted the crowd—some sporting “F*#@ the feds, vote for Ted” T-shirts—at the airport named for Stevens, who nevertheless faces quite a challenge: A new poll indicates he fell 8% behind his opponent after the felony convictions. “My future is in God’s hands. Alaska’s future is in your hands,” he said at the rally, his first stop in a 5-day campaigning frenzy.