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Ex-Sen. Stevens May Be Off the Hook But His Political Future is Very Cloudy

No question the fact Ted Stevens was on trial during his Senate campaign for re-election didn’t help. He was defeated. But now, even though the Justice Department is voiding his conviction, the 85-year-old’s political future is in doubt. Some want a new special election for Senate, saying he was robbed of re-election because of the Justice Department’s unjust case. That’s not likely to happen.

By DAN JOLING
Associated Press Writer

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens

ANCHORAGE — Former Sen. Ted Stevens may be clear of legal problems, but his future as an Alaska elected official could be over.

Department of Justice prosecutors on Wednesday asked a judge to dismiss an indictment against Stevens and toss out his October conviction on charges of failing to report home renovations and gifts from a wealthy campaign supporter.

However, the 85-year-old politician’s age and scars from the legal battle likely would be used against him in any future race, according to Alaska political observers.

“What has happened to Sen. Stevens is surely tragic,” said Stephen Haycox, a professor of history at the University of Alaska Anchorage. “But having been given this pause, he would now, I think, not look particularly attractive were he to run for anything.”

Stevens had held the Senate seat since 1968, making him the longest-serving Republican in Senate history. He was responsible for bringing home billions in federal dollars to build up a young state poor in infrastructure long before anyone heard of President Obama’s stimulus package.
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