Begich takes more muted tone in Palin reaction

Sen. Mark BegichMark BegichEx-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium Dem ex-lawmakers defend Schumer on Iran MORE (D-Alaska) took a more muted tack than his Senate colleague, Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiThe Hill's 12:30 Report Bishop eyes new Puerto Rico bill after recess Week ahead: Senate looks to wrap up energy, water spending bill 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.

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