WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, a fixture in the U.S. Senate for nearly 40 years, gave a brief farewell to fellow senators Thursday, adding that he is confident he can "remove the cloud that currently surrounds me."
Stevens, who turned 85 Tuesday, was convicted in October of seven felony charges for filing false statements over several years on his Senate financial disclosure forms. Prosecutors said Stevens hid hundreds of thousands of dollars in "freebies" from an oil-field services company in his home state.
Stevens maintained his innocence even after the conviction. At a debate days before the November 4 general election, he said he had "not been convicted of anything."
It's not clear if the outcome of his trial influenced voters, who gave Stevens 47 percent of their ballots and 48 percent to his Democratic rival for the seat, Mark Begich. Begich currently serves as the mayor of Anchorage, Alaska.
Stevens officially conceded the race Wednesday.
"I also pray for my successor's success," he told fellow senators Thursday.
Stevens also repeated, in part, something he told a reporter Wednesday.
"I don't have any rearview mirror. I look only forward. And I still see the day when I can remove the cloud that currently surrounds me."
"I believe God will give me more opportunities to be of service to Alaska and to our nation," the senator added.
Christmas Eve will mark Stevens' 40th anniversary as a senator. He was appointed to his seat on December 24, 1968, when his state was less than 10 years old.
Stevens is the second-longest serving congressional Republican in history, behind Sen. Strom Thurmond, and the longest-serving Republican currently in the Senate.
"It's hard to believe that so much time has passed so quickly," Stevens said. "I treasure every moment I've spent representing Alaska and Alaskans."
"Home is where the heart is," he added. "If that is so, one is right here in the Senate ... and the other is in the state of Alaska."