Read more about Sen. Ted Stevens' career and listen to his remarks on the Senate floor at the Vox Politics blog.
Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens bid farewell to his colleagues Thursday, saying his motto during his nearly 40-year Senate career had been: "To hell with politics. Just do what's right for Alaska."
The longest-serving Republican in the Senate was convicted last month of lying on his financial disclosure forms. Despite that conviction, which he is appealing, Stevens lost his re-election bid only narrowly to Democrat Mark Begich in a race that came down to a painstaking count of absentee ballots.
During his 10-minute speech on the Senate floor, Stevens said he treasured "every moment I've spent here representing Alaska and Alaskans, the land and the people that I love." But he also looked to the future.
"My mission in life is not completed," Stevens said. "I believe God will give me more opportunities to be of service to Alaska and to our nation, and I look forward with a glad heart and with confidence in his justice and mercy.
"I told a member of the press yesterday I don't have any rearview mirror. I look only forward. And I still see the day when I can remove the cloud that currently surrounds me."
Following the speech, Stevens received a standing ovation.