AP Calls Alaska Race for Begich

Posted November 18, 2008 at 8:10pm

Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) increased his lead over convicted Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) to 3,724 votes on Tuesday with almost all of the remaining ballots counted, and the Associated Press has now called the race for the Democrat. Begich leads Stevens 47.76 percent to 46.58 percent, according to the latest vote tally. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) released a statement cheering Begich’s victory, which brings the number of seats Democrats have picked up in this year’s elections to seven. “Mark Begich will be an outstanding Senator for Alaska and the country, and with seven seats and counting now added to the Democratic ranks in the Senate, we have an even stronger majority that will bring real change to America,” Schumer said. Begich increased his lead from earlier today as more than 24,000 absentee and questionable ballots were scheduled to be counted by the state’s division of elections. According to the Alaska Democratic Party, there are still a number of absentee ballots from overseas that have yet to be counted. That number, however, is not enough to make up the difference for Stevens, party spokeswoman Bethany Lesser said. The state will now certify the election, a process that is scheduled to be completed next week.