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In 1967, following his term as mayor, EER announced his plans to run for the U.S. Senate. Rasmuson defeated Ted Stevens in the 1968 primary while Democrat Mike Gravel won a surprise victory over incumbent Senator Ernest Gruening, who then launched a write-in campaign. In November, Gravel won the general election with Rasmuson coming in second. EER accepted the defeat graciously and quickly moved on to other opportunities to serve.
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