- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski concedes she’s defying political norms by running as an independent for re-election after losing her party’s primary, but says Alaskans need “a choice” in this election.

Ms. Murkowski, who lost last week to upstart conservative Joe Miller, also acknowledges on NBC’s “Today” show she’s going against the normal practice of bowing out and throwing her support to the primary winner.

Ms. Murkowski, daughter of former Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski, said that while she did not prevail in the recent primary, she’s heard an “outpouring” of Alaskans beseeching her to stay in the race.

Senate Republican leaders in Washington are threatening to strip Ms. Murkowski of her choice position as the party’s ranking member on the Energy Committee.