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.