Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska won the Republican primary in his home state on Tuesday, soundly defeating six Republican challengers less than a month after he was indicted by a federal grand jury for concealing more than $250,000 in gifts from an oil services company.
Mr. Stevens, who has been in office for 40 years and is revered for bringing home billions of dollars in federal spending, received more than 63 percent of the vote.
"People have been voting for Ted for 40 years and their inclination is to keep doing it," Dave Cuddy, a former state lawmaker who finished a distant second to Mr. Stevens, said in a phone interview several hours before the polls closed.
Representative Don Young, the state's lone House member and a 35-year incumbent, was locked in a close primary race with Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell early Wednesday. With nearly 98 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Young led by fewer than 150 votes out of more than 85,000 cast.
Like Mr. Stevens, Mr. Young is under federal investigation for his ties to VECO, a former oil services company, but he also faces scrutiny on other matters, including a controversial $10 million earmark he pushed through for a Florida road project. Mr. Young has spent more than $1 million of his campaign funds on legal fees.
Mr. Parnell was endorsed by the state's popular Republican governor, Sarah Palin, and he had led Mr. Young in polls conducted earlier this year. But his lead began to slip as Mr. Young engaged in the race more aggressively this summer, casting Mr. Parnell as an "incompetent" puppet of outside interests, primary the fiscally conservative Club for Growth. That group, which was linked to more than $330,000 in campaign donations to Mr. Parnell, has long attacked Mr. Young for the earmarks he has supported for his home state, including a proposed $200 million bridge to a small island in Southeast Alaska. The bridge, known as the "bridge to nowhere," became a symbol of earmark excess. It has not been built.
As the primary neared, Mr. Young mocked Mr. Parnell's mild manner and lackluster performances in debates, calling him "Captain Zero" in one interview. Mr. Parnell said the taunts simply confirmed the need for a Republican who would restore dignity and ethics to Alaska's congressional delegation.
Whoever wins will have little time to celebrate. Ethan Berkowitz, a former minority leader of the state House, easily won the Democratic primary in the House race on Tuesday, and both he and Mr. Begich are being aggressively supported by national Democratic groups.
Mr. Berkowitz said in a phone interview after his victory that he intended to court the supporters of whoever loses in the race between Mr. Young and Mr. Parnell.
"The people that want a fight, I've got something for them," he said, referring to Mr. Young's supporters, "and the people that want to change Alaska's reputation, I've got something for them, too."
In another closely fought Alaska race, a petition initiative intended to increase protections for clean water and streams where salmon live was easily defeated. Known as Ballot Measure 4, the initiative was largely aimed at fighting the development of the proposed Pebble Mine, a vast deposit of copper and gold that is near the headwaters of Bristol Bay, one of the Pacific Ocean's most productive runs of salmon.
The Measure 4 campaign became one of the most expensive in state history, with more than $10 million spent overall. Opponents, led by the mining industry, had raised more than twice as much as supporters in the final week of the campaign. The measure was defeated, with 57 percent of ballots cast in opposition and 43 percent in favor. The defeat of the measure does not ensure that the mine will be developed. It still must receive multiple state permits.