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Alaska senator defeated after nearly 30 years in office

Mark Begich, Anchorage mayor, defeated Sen. Ted Stevens Tuesday in Alaska’s bid for the U.S. Senate, reported the Anchorage Daily News.

Stevens, who had been found guilty a week before the election of seven felonies for lying on financial disclosure forms about $250,000 of gifts and home renovations from the oilfield services company Veco, was down 3,724 votes, with approximately 2,500 still to be counted, reported CNN.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, those final ballots will be counted Nov. 25.

Alaska elections Director Gail Fenumiai said officials hope to make a legitimate announcement during the week of Dec. 1, reported CNN. Stevens would then have five days to demand a recount.

However, reported the Anchorage Daily News, since the state has moved to mostly machine counting, recent Alaska recounts have resulted in little change in the final tally.

Begich would be the first Democrat to represent Alaska in the U.S. Senate in nearly 30 years, reported the Anchorage Daily News, and his victory would put the Democrats one step closer to a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate.

"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," he said in the written statement, reported CNN. "I can't wait to get to work fighting for Alaskan families."