Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), former chairman and ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, has conceded his Senate race and isn't asking for a recount.
While only a few thousand votes separate him from his opponent, Stevens released a statement Wednesday conceding the race after the vote tally left him behind and several news organizations had called it for his opponent.
“Given the number of ballots that remain to be counted, it is apparent the election has been decided and Mayor [Mark] Begich has been elected," he said.
“My family and I wish to thank the thousands of Alaskans who stood by us and who supported my re-election. It was a tough fight that would not have been possible without the help of so many Alaskans – people who I am honored to call my friends. I will always remember their thoughts, prayers, and encouragement.
“I am proud of the campaign we ran and regret that the outcome was not what we had hoped for. I am deeply grateful to Alaskans for allowing me to serve them for 40 years in the U.S. Senate. It has been the greatest honor of my life to work with Alaskans of all political persuasions to make this state that we all love a better place.
“I wish Mayor Begich and his family well. My staff and I stand willing to help him prepare for his new position.”
Stevens would likely have been under pressure to step aside even if he had won, given his recent conviction on failing to report on disclosure forms work done on his house by an oil services company with business before the committee that he once chaired.
Only days before the November election, Stevens was convicted of failing to disclose work done on his home by an oil services company that had business before his powerful committee.
Stevens maintained his innocence, vowed to fight the charges and stayed in the race, but Senate colleagues had not fallen all over themselves to come to his aid. In fact, Senator John McCain called on Stevens to resign.