Miller Kicks Off Campaign in Wasilla

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Joe Miller, with family in front row on stage.

U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller kicked off his campaign last night in Wasilla before a few hundred cheering supporters.  Amid prayer and patriotic songs, Miller and those introducing him talked about God, guns and government mistrust.  Miller drew cheers as he hit on popular Tea Party themes, such as abolishing the IRS and ending state surveillance.

“They need to understand that the people have had it That’s why you’re here today,” he said, to applause. “This is about ‘we the people.’ It’s not about Joe Miller. It’s about restoring you to your rightful position, where government is the servant and you are the master!”

This is Miller’s second run for U.S. Senate. He didn’t mention the dramatic undoing of his earlier campaign, except for a passing reference to the time his security team shackled a journalist trying to interview him. Miller, a father of eight, made the aside as he was introducing the four younger children, who were on the stage with him in Wasilla.

“They’re all martial arts experts. We learned that from the 2010 race. We needed in-house security. So I don’t have t0

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Standing for the national anthem at the Joe Miller kick-off.

bring my handcuffs any more,” he said.

Other speakers at the event included a Big Lake church pastor, a Gun Owners of America director and also conservative radio talk show host Lars Larson. Despite a low campaign profile in recent months, Miller has been raising money. On that score, he’s in third place in the three-way Republican race, but not far behind Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.

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Liz Ruskin covers Alaska’s congressional delegation, federal agency decisions that shape life in the 49th state, money in politics and elections. She has deep roots in Alaska and this is her third stint in Washington, a city she has grown to love.

She was born in Anchorage and is a West High graduate. She studied political science at the University of Washington and has an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia. During graduate school, she moved to Washington to intern as a D.C. correspondent. But for her first real journalism job, she moved back to Alaska to work at the Homer News. She was there for three years before taking a job at the Anchorage Daily News. Over the course of nine years in Anchorage, she covered City Hall, courts, state politics, and Native and rural affairs.

Then, in April 2001, she moved back to Washington to work in McClatchy Newspaper’s D.C. bureau as a correspondent for the Anchorage paper. She stayed in the position for five years.

She took a year off for a journalism fellowship at the University of Colorado in Boulder, then freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio.

When a vacancy occurred in APRN’s one-person Washington bureau, she jumped at the opportunity. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013.

lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz