Begich Defeats Stevens in Alaska Race

Dems pick up another Senate seat; no word from GOP on recount
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2008 8:28 PM CST
Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, is pursued by members of the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008, after attending a Republican Caucus.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – Democrat Mark Begich has ousted Ted Stevens in Alaska's Senate race, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Begich widened his lead to 3,724 votes, with only 2,500 left to be counted. The Stevens camp has not said whether it will request a recount, which would take place in early December. Such recounts rarely change the outcome in Alaska voting, the Daily News notes.

“I am humbled and honored to serve Alaska,” said Begich, who would be the first Democrat to represent the state in nearly 30 years. “It’s been an incredible journey getting to this point, and I appreciate the support and commitment of the thousands of Alaskans who have brought us to this day." His victory brings the Democrats to 58 seats, two shy of the all-important 60 mark, with two races still to be decided.