Palin trying to backtrack from her call for Begich to step down.

On April 2, the Alaska Republican Party sent out a press release saying that in light of the charges being dropped against Ted Stevens, “current Senator Mark Begich should resign his position to allow for a new, special election.” That same day, Gov. Sarah Palin (R) said, “I absolutely agree” when asked about the Alaska Republican Party’s request. However, yesterday in a press conference, Palin tried to backtrack:

“I didn’t call for Begich to step down, either,” Palin said. “I said I absolutely agree that Alaskans deserve a fair, untainted election for the United States senate seat. I’m not splitting hairs on how that happens. I’m saying wonderful, good. I want to see an election that is fair, that isn’t influenced unduly by some announcement that the sitting senator was facing a multi-felony count conviction. That’s what we were told. Now, come to find out, that wasn’t the case.”

However, if Palin supports a new special election, by state law, Begich “would have to step down.” That process would temporarily leave Alaska with just one active senator. Nevertheless, Palin yesterday insisted that she wasn’t “splitting hairs on how a new election should happen.”