(CNN) – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Thursday she believes voters deserve another chance to consider electing Ted Stevens to the U.S. Senate now that federal prosecutors have decided to drop their case against him, and supports a re-match between the former senator and Democrat Mark Begich.
Begich defeated Stevens last November soon after the incumbent was convicted on ethics charges.
"Many voters did not choose Stevens because they were told he was guilty, and now, after the election we see there was improper conduct in his trial, so how fair an election was that?" asked Palin, in an email to an Alaska Public Radio reporter. CNN has confirmed the authenticity of the e-mail.
"I agree with other Alaskans who would like to see an election that's free from improper influence, and I can't imagine how Mark Begich could argue that," she continued.
(updated after the jump with Begich camp response)
Palin told the Anchorage Daily News that she does not want to "split hairs" on whether Begich should resign, while agreeing with state Republican party officials calling for a special election.
But the Fairbanks News Miner reported that the governor did back the GOP's position that Begich should step down. A journalist for the paper e-mailed Palin a copy of a statement by the state's Republican party Chairman calling for Begich's resignation. Palin responded: “I absolutely agree.”
Asked by the paper to confirm that answer meant Begich should resign for the election to take place, Palin replied: “Yes.”
Palin spokeswoman Megan Stapleton repeated that position to Politico. “She absolutely agrees that there should be a special election. Stepping down to hold the special election would be the right thing to do,” Stapleton said.
Begich spokesman Max Croes told CNN Friday that the Stevens criminal case was never part of the Begich campaign. "He did not use the Stevens trial as an issue," Croes said. He declined immediate comment on Palin's support of a re-match between Stevens and Begich.
Begich, a former mayor of Anchorage, issued a statement Thursday noting he "got into the Senate race long before Senator Stevens' legal troubles began."
"I'm honored to serve Alaskans for the next six years," he said.
Stevens, 85, will be at a hearing in Washington Tuesday as a judge reviews a Justice Department request to drop the case against the longtime Alaska senator because of prosecutorial misconduct. Stevens has not yet indicated any interest in returning to public office.
UPDATE: Begich Friday was on his way from Washington to Alaska and was not available to comment on Palin's latest remarks. But his press secretary, Julie Hasquet, told CNN that "Sen. Mark Begich is not going to resign, no matter who's asking."
She acknowledged the story has been given new life as a result of Palin's remarks in support of state Republican party calls for Begich to step down as part of a special election. "It's ridiculous. Sen. Begich won very fairly," said Hasquet. "People made up their minds before there was a conviction of Ted Stevens."
Begich is likely to face the question directly during a previously scheduled media availability Monday in Anchorage.
maybe stevens should run for govenor against sarah and buy the way who really cares what she thinks anyway.
I feel like the Republicans are sore losers, Minnesota and now Alaska. Election is over, move on. The Senator Begich won fair and square. Non-issue. Alaskans voted for the person they wanted.
Let me see if I got this straight.
Stevens was prosecuted during a Republican administration.
He was found guilty and sentenced.
An election for the U S Senate was held while this was going on.
A Democrat won the election according to the legal requirements for such elections.
A Democratic administration decided to drop charges.
Now Sarah wants to redo the election?
This is not as unbelievable as it seems. It is the reality of Sarah being Sarah!
Ummm, read the constitution. I don't think this is going to happen. Better luck next time.
Ted Stevens has proven to be ethically challenged regardless of prosecutorial misconduct. The people of Alaska deserve better representation and that is what they now have. Move along...nothing to see here.
How typical. Palin would want a rematch between this guy who is obviously guilty and didn't deserve to be in the running (which many people in the Republican party and in government agreed with) and the legally elected candidate. Prosecutorial misconduct should always be investigated but instead of throwing the case out there should have been a retrial; that would have happened in any regular case but Stevens got special treatment. He's always been a liar and a jerk and should have been tossed out of office years ago.
What the people of Alsaka deserve are decent candidates who don't lie and cheat as Stevens and Palin have done.
Ted Stevens to the U.S. Senate now that federal prosecutors have decided to drop their case against him, and supports a re-match between the former senator and Democrat Mark Begich.
Just becasue case has been dropped doesn't mean he is insant. The people of Alaska have spoken and they elected Begich so move on all ready. Sara Palin thanks she is some type of GOD! NOT!
I'll just bet Palin ( and redst of repubs) DO want a new election ! They need to get another repub in there ! Doubt this is going to happen..While I do feel sympathy for Stevens for what happened to him, he IS 87 years old ! time for him to take his good name and retire..wish he would take all the rest of the NO party with him to retirement..
AS far as I'm concerned, the law is the law. You cant break the law and come back and say that you did not break the law and that the law was not fair. STEVENS, in my mind, SHOULD not be ABOVE the LAW. We KNOW that what he did WAS WRONG. He is a SENATOR, a law writer. It's hard to imagine that he doesnt understand how to read laws. I'm SADDEN by the verdict. When we break the law and make ILLEGAL activities, LEGAL, our society SUFFERS. We LEGALIZE ILLEGAL derivatives in the market, and now, we are feeling the PAIN.
Our government NEEDS to stop changing laws that have been in place to protect our society. Remember, everytime we LEGALIZE ILLEGAL activities, we WILL suffer (Financial markets are bad case of LEGALIZING illegal activities).
Maybe Ted Stevens should have not been prosecuted on a federal level, but he is not innocent by any stretch of the imagination. This man still did things he should have not done and he should not be rewarded in anyway for it!
Sarah, Sarah, that'll never happen. Re-matches aren't allowed unless it is the Democrat who was wronged. Besides, I think that by calling for that you are putting up a roadblock to progress. The Dems are well on their way to taking this country straight to the toilet, and with Begich and Illinois' Burris they have 2 lackeys who will be good little lapdogs and do whatever Reid tells them.
Not to worry, the Dems will be voted out of Congress in 2010, and after Obama finishes up his emabarassment of a term you'll be in Washington either as America's first woman president or first woman VP. And with the way Obama and Biden are doing things now, the bar is gonna be set VERY, VERY, VERY low.
I don't think it will happen, that is to bad, this guy was flushed and lied to by the liberal media and law breakers in DC! That is a political hazzard for you!
Ah...the WORLD ACCORDING TO PALIN........
Republicans take note: is THIS what you want in 2012?????
Will we ever be done with this woman? She talks out of both sides of her mouth and says absolutely nothing! If the media would stop indulging her and her archaic views, perhaps she would just slither away! Enough already!
It's funny that now she's supporting him, but during the election she tried to stay as far away from him as possible. The people of Alaska already made their decision.
That election is over and Stevens lost. He is guilty of what he was charged with, whether he was convicted of it or not. The people have voted and made their decision, so stop trying to use your influence to sway that decision in a different direction. Knowing Palin, this is in some way self serving. How would she benefit from it?
So, if one candidate is unfairly maligned, the results of the election should be voided?
Congratulations President Kerry.
Silly Sarah back at work
stevens for governor of alaska
Once again you guys are trying to change the rules mid-stream! You just can't do this, people. Now, if Stevens wants to run again when Begich's term ends, then he should do so. Stevens left office for a reason, so once he left office, THAT'S IT for this term of Congress. He has to wait his turn.
Coleman lost in Minnesota and the repubs want a new election. Stevens lost in Alaska and Sarah wants a rematch. Both Stevens and Coleman will get their rematch in six years.
In the meantime, I hope Stevens declares a run for governor of Alaska.
So if I google "Sarah Palin thinks Ted Stevens should resign" nothing is going to come up?
That's one smart moose!
She's just as sharp as a marble!
The case being thrown out due to prosecutorial misconduct says absolutely nothing about Ted Steven's being innocent or guilty of the original charges.
If Sarah Palin wants an election rematch, I want a new trial for Ted Stevens.