Stevens Unlikely To Reman in Senate Even if Wins Reelection

The composition of the next Senate depends partially upon what happens in Alaska. Roll Call reports that even should Ted Stevens be reelected he will not be allowed to keep his seat as a convicted felon:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was forced into the middle of Sen. Ted Stevens’ (R-Alaska) re-election bid late Saturday night after a senior Senate Democrat endorsed Stevens and called on voters to disregard his seven-count felony conviction.

In a bluntly worded release from his office, Reid warned that Stevens would not only face an ethics investigation but also expulsion proceedings regardless of his efforts to appeal the convictions.

Reid’s decision to jump into the Alaska Senate race with both feet marks the first time a leading national Democrat has explicitly warned that Stevens’ ouster from the Senate would be sought. GOP leaders including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) have already called for him to step down or face expulsion.

Whether Stevens wins still matters. If he loses, then obviously the Democrats pick up a seat. If he wins there is still a shot for another Republican to wind up with the seat.

Current law calls for a special election to replace Stevens if he were to be reelected and later resign or be expelled. This would give another Republican a shot at the seat. There is also some question as to whether Alaska’s current law is Constitutional, leaving open the possibility that the seat will be decided by Sarah Palin (or the current Lieutenant Governor should the nightmare scenario occur and Palin leave Alaska to become vice president.)

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