Begich Takes the Lead over Alaska Senator

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska - In Alaska, Democrat Mark Begich has taken a 3-vote lead in his effort to topple 40-year Republican Senator Ted Stevens.
Begich, the two-term mayor of Anchorage, started the day down more than 3,200 votes. But he closed the gap as officials resumed counting early and absentee ballots: 125,019 to 125,016.
Neither side expects to be able to claim victory. By late afternoon, officials had counted more than 44,000 of the roughly 90,000 outstanding ballots.
Last month, Stevens was convicted in Washington, D.C. of lying about more than $250,000 in gifts and home renovations he'd received from an oil field services company.
Fellow senators have called on Stevens to resign, and he could face expulsion if he doesn't -- in which case a special election would be held to determine his replacement. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, fresh from her failed run at the vice presidency, has suggested she might run.

(See Ralph Hipp's blog page for a link to keep up with the latest Alaska political headlines.)