Murkowski’s Decision Will Be Announced Friday

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC

Senator Murkowski plans to announce on Friday whether or not she’ll run as a write-in candidate for U.S. Senate.  Her campaign released a statement today saying she’s not seeking the Libertarian Party’s slot on the November ballot.  The press release quotes Murkowski saying she believes during the primary, the Alaska Republican Party was hijacked by the Tea Party Express, an outside extremist group.

Murkowski is headed back to Washington right now.  She plans to attend an Appropriations Committee markup on Thursday dealing with defense and other funding bills.   She was noticeably absent from Washington Tuesday as Senate members met for their weekly party caucus lunches.  After they meet behind closed doors, each party holds a press briefing.  Over the past year, Murkowski has often been part of the star Republican team that addresses reporters, since she’s a member of their leadership ranks.

This morning the top Senate Republican, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, threw his support behind the man who beat Murkowski in the Republican primary last month, Joe Miller.  McConnell appeared on MSNBC, and told reporter Chuck Todd that it’s time for Murkowski to bow out.

Senator McConnell has contributed $5,000 to Miller’s campaign.

Monday, a group of Republicans from Fairbanks wrote to McConnell looking for him to unequivocally support Miller and ask Murkowski to bow out.  At the same time, Murkowski supporters have been urging her to get back in the race, through a campaign on Facebook as well as by contacting the campaign.

Meanwhile, the race for the Senate seat isn’t waiting for Murkowski to speak up.  Joe Miller and Democratic candidate Scott McAdams both plan to be in Petersburg Wednesday for a meeting of the Southeast Conference.  The two also will have their first public debate in Juneau on Thursday.

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