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Stevens Gets Brief Reprieve From Colleagues

With the bulk of outstanding ballots expected to be counted by the end of the day in Alaska's senate race, incumbent Ted Stevens has temporarily dodged at least one bullet. Senate Republicans have postponed a vote on whether Stevens should remain a member of the party's Senate conference until the outcome of the race is known.

Stevens currently trails Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich by 1,022 votes with about 24,000 ballots left to count today. Stevens faces big obstacles even if he manages to mount a comeback. Found guilty of lying on his financial disclosure forms about gifts received from a oil company in Alaska, he could face expulsion from the Senate if he were to return.

Senator Jim DeMint had planned on introducing a motion asking fellow Republicans to throw him out of the Senate's conference and many GOP Senators had already called fot his resignation before the election. DeMint said he will wait until the race is settled before moving forward, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

"After talking with many of my colleagues, it's clear there are sufficient votes to pass the resolution regarding Senator Stevens. The question now is timing," DeMint said. "Some who support the resolution believe we should address this after the results of his election are confirmed in Alaska. For this reason, I will ask the conference to postpone the vote on Senator Stevens until Thursday."

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