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Good riddance to Ted Stevens

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By Michelle Malkin  •  November 18, 2008 09:51 PM

Alaska’s GOP corruptocrat has lost his Senate re-election bid.

Shouldn’t have taken so long. Not surprisingly, the entrenched, pork-stuffed politician refused to concede tonight:

Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska was defeated in his bid for re-election on Tuesday.

Mr. Stevens, a Republican and a 40-year incumbent, was trailing his Democratic challenger, Mayor Mark Begich of Anchorage, by 3,724 votes out of more than 315,000 cast after state election officials on Tuesday counted more than 35,000 absentee and other outstanding ballots.

Only an estimated 2,500 ballots remain to be counted next week, according to Gail Fenumiai, the state elections director.

“I am humbled and honored to serve Alaska in the United States Senate,” Mr. Begich said. “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.”

Mr. Stevens did not immediately concede the race. Presuming the results are certified, the senator could request a recount, but he would have to pay for it.

As Mr. Begich’s lead was increasing during the day, a spokesman for Mr. Stevens said in an email message at midday that it had not been determined whether Mr. Stevens would concede the race or request a recount if the trend in the results continued. Earlier in the day, Mr. Stevens told reporters in Washington, “My race, I don’t think, will be determined until the 25th. That’s the day they’ll count the last ballots, the overseas ballots.”

The ballots remaining to be counted include overseas voters, special absentee ballots given to people who planned to be traveling out of state on Election Day or who live in remote parts of the state. The election will not be certified until early December.

In an initial count after Election Day, Mr. Stevens had led Mr. Begich, the mayor of Anchorage, by 3,257 votes. Republicans said at the time that traditional voting patterns among absentee voters favored Mr. Stevens holding on to win, but Mr. Begich noted that he had made a concerted effort to win absentee voters. More than 90,000 ballots have been counted since Election Day.

Mr. Stevens, whose 85th birthday was Tuesday, was convicted last month in federal court in Washington of seven felony counts of failing to disclose more than $250,000 in gifts and home renovations he received. He is the longest serving Republican in Senate history.

Theodore F. Stevens, will you please go now?

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Marathon Pundit: Time to rename the Anchorage airport.

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