Libertarians an option for Murkowski
If Sen. Lisa Murkowski is to overcome a 1,668-vote deficit in her bid for a second full term, she needs substantial support from thousands of uncounted absentee and provisional ballots in Alaska's surprisingly tight Republican Senate primary.
Tribune Washington bureau
WASHINGTON — If Sen. Lisa Murkowski is to overcome a 1,668-vote deficit in her bid for a second full term, she needs substantial support from thousands of uncounted absentee and provisional ballots in Alaska's surprisingly tight Republican Senate primary.
Attorney Joe Miller appears in a strong position to maintain his narrow victory, but he and Murkowski's campaign are preparing for a lengthy fight.
In an e-mail to supporters Wednesday, Miller said a recount was "imminent." He solicited contributions "so Alaskans can have a constitutional conservative voice in Washington."
Murkowski, meanwhile, sought help from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which dispatched its general counsel to guide the state through the process of counting absentee ballots, which begins Tuesday.
State Republicans increasingly are skeptical that Murkowski can survive. She would need an estimated three of every five votes among absentee ballots to survive.
One possible wild card: The state Libertarian Party told the Anchorage Daily News that it was open to the possibility of nominating Murkowski as a third-party candidate, a notion that her campaign is not embracing but has not ruled out.
Asked about that possibility Wednesday, Murkowski said it was "way, way, way too premature."
The target date for certifying primary results in Alaska is Sept. 15, but a state review board can take an additional 10 days to conduct a canvass and review disputed ballots.
If the Libertarian Party were to name Murkowski as its new nominee, by law it would have to do so by Sept. 15, said Gail Fenumiai, director of the State Elections Division.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.