Despite a conviction on corruption charges, Ted Stevens (R-AK) has a narrow lead in his bid to return to the Senate for a seventh full term in a race that is still too close to call. Results for SNL veteran Al Franken (D-MN) are also pending. But a Wisconsin station owner is headed for Madison.
Stevens was up 48% to 47% last we checked over Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D-AK). However, even if Stevens prevails after absentee and challenged ballots are dealt with, he still faces an uncertain reception back in Washington, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has vowed that no convicted felons will be seated; and where Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has also called for his resignation. If for some reason he is unable to serve, the seat would be opened to a special election, and speculation has already focused on a possible bid for the seat by Sarah Palin. Stevens insists he is innocent of all charges and is planning an appeal of his conviction.
With almost 3M ballots cast, Franken was less than 1K votes behind incumbent Norm Coleman (R-MN) in the race for a US Senate seat. Any result with less than 1% difference triggers an automatic recount in Minnesota.
Randy Hopper, owner of Mad Dog Media (licensee of KFIZ/WFON-FM Fond du Lac and WCLB-AM Sheboygan) is headed to the Wisconsin Senate. Meanwhile, Commonwealth Broadcasting honcho and NAB Radio Board Chair Steve Newberry lost his bid for a seat in the Kentucky Senate.
RBR/TVBR observation: If there’s any good news in that Kentucky loss for broadcasters, it is the fact that Newberry will have more time to devote to his second job as Chairman of the NAB Radio Board.