The Associated Press has declared Republican Dan Sullivan the winner of the Alaska Senate race, though Democratic Sen. Mark Begich has yet to concede.
Begich is waiting for thousands of ballots that have yet to be counted a week after the midterm election.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to serve my fellow Alaskans in the United States Senate,” said Sullivan in a statement. “This was a hard fought race. As we move forward, I want to emphasize that my door will always be open to all Alaskans.”
After a three-way late primary, Sullivan took the lead against Begich just as Begich released attack ads trying to tie Sullivan to a horrific rape and double homicide in the state.
Begich pulled the ad after an attorney for the victims requested that he take it down, but the damage was already done as many media outlets branded his ad among the most dishonest ads of the cycle.
As he scrambled to rebuild a lead in the state, Begich boasted of his political ground game, recruiting Alaskans from rural areas to support him.
That was not enough to sustain his slim 2008 victory over convicted felon Republican Sen. Ted Stevens by nearly 4,000 votes.