GOP's Stevens loses close Alaska senate race

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican in Senate history, narrowly lost his re-election bid Tuesday, marking the downfall of a pillar of the U.S. Senate and Alaska icon who apparently couldn't survive his conviction on federal corruption charges. His defeat to Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich moves Senate Democrats closer to a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority. Stevens' ouster will alter the power structure in the Senate, where he has served since the days of the Johnson administration while holding seats on some of the most influential committees. Tuesday's tally of just more than 24,000 absentee and other ballots gave Begich 146,286, or 47.56 percent, to 143,912, or 46.76 percent, for Stevens. A recount is possible.

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