Begich Takes Lead in Race for Senate Seat

Early Voters Help Begich Overcome 3,000 Vote Deficit

Mark Begich Speaking at Senior Town Hall.

by Brian Malone

As the Alaska Division of Elections continues to count early and absentee ballots incumbent Republican Senator Ted Stevens now finds himself at a disadvantage. On Wednesday the Division of Elections counted about 60,000 early and questioned ballots which have given Democratic candidate Mark Begich the lead. Begich was 3,000 votes behind Stevens at the end of last Tuesday's election and now enjoys a slim lead of 814 votes. The Division of Elections says that there are still about 40,000 votes to count. Nome, Mat-Su, and Fairbanks are expected to be counted on Friday and Anchorage will be counted next week. The Begich camp is confident that the final tally will widen his lead over Stevens who is attempting to become the first Senator reelected after being found guilty of a felony crime.