Palin, state GOP want election do-over

April 3, 2009 at 7:32 PM
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska, April 3 (UPI) -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has joined the state GOP in calling on U.S. Sen. Mark Begich to resign and run against former Sen. Ted Stevens in a special election.

Stevens was convicted on seven felony counts, but the U.S. Justice Department said this week it was dropping its case against the Republican amid prosecutorial misconduct allegations. The Alaska Republican Party then called for a do-over of the 2008 election, in which Begich, a Democrat, narrowly beat Stevens.

Palin said Thursday Alaskans "deserve to have a fair election not tainted by some announcement that one of the candidates was convicted fairly of seven felonies, when in fact it wasn't a fair conviction," the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News reported Friday.

Begich responded that said although there was prosecutorial misconduct during Stevens' corruption trial Alaskans voted for change in November.

"Today, with our country in a severe recession, it's more important than ever that we have a senator focused on fixing our economy so Alaskans have the jobs they need to support their families," Begich said.

Some U.S. Senate Republicans Friday rejected the suggestion of a do-over, The Hill reported. Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio said "the fact of the matter is" Stevens lost the election.

"It's happened," he said. "I don't think you can go back."

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said Republicans are unhappy with the way Stevens was prosecuted but the GOP can't do much about it.

"He was not treated fairly by prosecutors, and he wasn't treated fairly during the trial," Hatch said, adding that any decision on holding another election is up to Alaskan officials.

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, told Fox News Channel Begich "will be in the Senate and will do a good job."

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