**Update Aug. 31, 2010 10:30 PM EST.: Senator Lisa Murkowsi conceded to Joe Miller in Alaska’s Republican Senate Primary.
Joe Miller, Alaska Attorney, and Republican Senate candidate, continues to wait out the final results of his close Republican primary race against incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Mr. Miller is part of a group of conservative Republicans this election season who have been endorsed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and overcame insurmountable odds against establishment politicians in both parties. They have been ostracized by liberal media outlets as either irrelevant or too extreme, but with more of these candidates proving critics wrong, a potential new GOP freshman class could very well shake things up on Capitol Hill.
“It’s a crisis of leadership in both parties. You just can’t point your finger at the Republicans and say it’s their issue. It’s actually a Washington D.C. issue,” said Mr. Miller to me on Monday night.
“Effectively, we have gone on this massive entitlement state through the cooperation of both parties and that is what I really think about this new [potential] freshman class, if you will, is wanting to confront.”
Before last Tuesday’s primary, some were betting Ms. Palin’s endorsement of Mr. Miller would show her power as a kingmaker was waning and her popularity in Alaska is not as strong as others thought. However, Mr. Miller’s surge past Senator Murkowski shows just how effective Governor Palin has been in a number of campaigns since leaving Alaska’s governor’s office.
“I think it’s important to note that her endorsement was pivotal in our race. It brought us national exposure. It certainly put us in the game if you will, but there were a number of other very important endorsements as well, including Governor Huckabee and the TeaParty Express’s involvement. From the outset, we had Senator Dyson, Senator Coghill, Representative Wilson, and Representative Keller endorse our race…there are leading legislators in Juneau,” he said before praising the work of his volunteers.
Mr. Miller will likely face Sitka Mayor Democrat Scott McAdams, should the final GOP primary count be in Miller’s favor. Democrats are already preparing to mount a campaign against Mr. Miller. Mr. McAdams website shows he has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO. His issues page is pretty thin containing mostly generalities but some recognizable liberal talking points. For example he says:
As a former deckhand in Alaska’s commercial fishing sector, I will fight to ensure that Alaska’s natural resources remain the green choice in a global marketplace. As years of wrong headed policy has shipped too many American jobs overseas, it is important to remember that the natural resources that fuel foreign produced goods and services are often extracted under the worst environmental conditions. While American’s have stood to to protect our environment nationally, we have not decreased our demand on the environment globally. As your next US Senator, I will work to ensure that Alaska’s natural resources are developed using the highest environmental standards in the world and are promoted as the green choice in the American marketplace while creating new jobs for Alaskans.
Mr. Miller is quick to point out that Mr. McAdams is “a dyed in the wool leftist.” “He’s described himself as left of Senator Begich. He is an extreme environmentalist. Those are all things that don’t really wash well with the Alaskan voter.”
Mr. Miller explained he wants his message to make clear that Alaskans should have increased control in the discretion of our future in this state. This would include the transferring of federal lands to the state to “basically fuel our economic engine here,” he said. “Ultimately it’s a state’s rights agenda.”