WASHINGTON - New York Sen. Charles Schumer said Democrats are confident of victory in the Alaska Senate race, even though incumbent Sen. Ted Stevens has been in office for nearly four decades.
Schumer, who heads the Democrats' campaign committee, said "We think Alaska is a race we're going to win."
At a news conference Wednesday, Schumer called Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich "a great candidate" and said the Democrat's popularity in Anchorage should help him carry the whole state.
The 84-year-old Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, faces questions about the remodeling of his home in Girdwood and his ties to former VECO Corp. CEO Bill Allen, who pleaded guilty last year to bribing Alaska state legislators.
Rebecca Fisher, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said Schumer should be careful about making such bold predictions.
"What you have up in Alaska is a senator who is working hard for his constituents for 40 years. And then you have a mayor who has come into the campaign and decided to cast stones while he is living in a glass house," Fisher said.