by Brian Mooar
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
WASHINGTON -- Former Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich claimed his seat in the United States Senate on Tuesday, taking the oath of office with the other freshmen and re-elected senators.
From the swearing in with Vice President Dick Cheney to the moment he found the desk with his own name plate, Sen. Begich described the day as an amazing, emotional experience.
After the ceremony he received a rousing welcome at a Capitol Hill reception.
"Thank you for being part of the campaign in all your own different ways," he told the assembled crowd. "It made a huge difference -- a 3,958-vote difference. And I want to say thank you for that."
His narrow victory over now-former Sen. Ted Stevens changed the face of Alaska politics -- with just six years in the Senate, Lisa Murkowski is now Alaska's senior senator.