Begich takes more muted tone in Palin reaction

Sen. Mark BegichMark BegichRyan's victory trumps justice reform opponents There is great responsibility being in the minority Senate GOP deeply concerned over Trump effect MORE (D-Alaska) took a more muted tack than his Senate colleague, Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiOvernight Energy: Obama integrates climate change into national security planning GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase Overnight Energy: Lawmakers kick off energy bill talks MORE (R-Alaska), in reacting to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's (R) announcement yesterday that she'd resign at the end of July.

"I'm as surprised as all Alaskans by Governor Palin's decision to step down with nearly two years left in her term," Begich said in a statement. "There was speculation she would not seek re-election, but she gave no indication of a resignation when I met with her for 45 minutes in her Anchorage office two days ago."

The first-term Senator also pledged to work with Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell (R), who will assume Palin's position by the end of the month.

The statement is in sharp contrast with Murkowski's reaction, which attacked Palin for "abandoning" Alaska.