Sen. Ted Stevens Falls Further Behind Rival

Associated Press
Saturday, November 15, 2008

ANCHORAGE, Nov. 14 -- Sen. Ted Stevens, the nation's longest-serving Republican senator, fell further behind his Democratic rival Friday, with most of the ballots still uncounted coming from parts of the state that have favored the challenger.

Mark Begich, the two-term mayor of Anchorage, increased his lead from 814 votes to 1,022 as state election workers counted 17,100 ballots Friday. Begich had 47.4 percent of the vote to Stevens's 47.0 percent.

"With the gap widening slightly in our favor today, I feel even more optimistic that when all the ballots are counted next week, we'll see Alaskans came out to vote for new leadership in Washington, D.C.," Begich said in a statement.

The 25,000 remaining votes will be counted Tuesday. They came mostly from Anchorage and the surrounding area, where Begich is leading, and from the state's southeastern panhandle, where he was doing even better.

Stevens, 84, is seeking his seventh term in the Senate, where he has served since 1968.

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