September 7th, 2010
10:34 PM ET
4 years ago

Murkowski 'reconsidering her options'

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is 'reconsidering her options.'
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is 'reconsidering her options.'

(CNN) – Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski is "reconsidering her options" in a reelection campaign once pronounced all but dead, and is now exploring a third party or write-in bid after receiving an "an outpouring of support" from Alaskans.

Last week, Murkowski conceded the Alaska GOP Senate primary to little-known Tea Party favorite Joe Miller, who outdistanced the incumbent Murkowski by a few thousand votes.

But according to Murkowski spokesman Steve Wackowski, the outpouring of support from around the state has given Murkowski a "moment of pause from her previous plans to wrap up her career as a senator."

Wackowski said there has been a definite change in Murkowski's views over the past several days, and that the reaction she's received since conceding "caused her to reconsider."

In the wake of her primary defeat, Murkowski did not endorse Miller, leaving the door open for a possible third-party run, with her most likely options being a run under the flag of the Libertarian Party or a long-shot write-in effort.

A Murkowski aide confirmed the senator met Tuesday with the Libertarian Party candidate, Dave Haase, who would have to step aside in order for Murkowski to run on the party's ticket.

But the aide said that the meeting was arranged by friends without Murkowski's encouragement, and that it was left "with the onus on the Libertarians on whether they wanted" a senator on their ticket.

But the meeting might not lead to a spot on the party's ticket.

Two weeks ago, the Libertarian Party board in Alaska rejected the idea of putting her on the ballot, citing "philosophical differences" with her positions.

Libertarian Party chairman Scott Kohlhaas confirmed to CNN Tuesday night that Haase had met with Murkowski. But when asked if anything had changed that would allow Murkowski to run on the party's ticket, Kohlhaas said, "No. It ain't happening."

Kohlhaas said Murkowski's discussion with Haase was "fruitful and constructive" and that another meeting could happen Friday. But he said "she's not going to budge on any issues. We'll meet some more. But there's no room for agreement."

Kohlhaas added that it was "not a meeting of the minds," and that his party was "not going to do a flip-flop" that would be the "biggest in the history of Alaska politics."

"She says she's not going to change her political stripes," he said. "The issues haven't changed."

As for the next best option, Wackowski said that Murkowski is in a good financial position.

"We're in uncharted waters," he said, but noted that Murkowski has $1 million on hand, which he said is a good amount for an Alaskan race. "She's got time to talk to more of her supporters and see what her decision will be."


Filed under: 2010 • Alaska • Joe Miller • Lisa Murkowski
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. jim

    These career politicians are so self centered they don';t even care about what is good for the country ,it's all about them.Murkowski was beaten in the race for the republican nomination but just can't accept defeat graciously.

    September 7, 2010 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  2. Michael

    Surely there must be some normal, sane people in Alaska. I would like to hear about them.
    Come to think of it, what was that guy's name who trained for the Iditarod and wrote a book about bonding with his dogs? Why isn't he Governor of Alaska?

    September 7, 2010 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  3. Michael

    At least that sled-dog training guy actually wrote his own book instead of paying a ghostwriter and selling disfunctional family members to the tabloids for publicity.

    September 7, 2010 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  4. Bob in Pa

    We need to do away with career politicians. Being elected is supposed to be a honor to serve. We the people want Term Limits for both the Senate and Congress for a good reason. Ms. Murkowski is now showing us why they are needed.

    September 7, 2010 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  5. CBR

    If she feels positive about running for the senate as a write-in candidate then she should go for it. it is her right as a U.S. citizen.

    September 7, 2010 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  6. MD

    You go girl!

    September 7, 2010 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  7. T'SAH from Virginia

    What's with all of the 'kowski's' in AK?? Are they all related somehow?

    You know, I am really anxious about her running as a third party!! That Miller guy should not be elected because he is an Extremis and a bigot!! Also, with Murkowski running, that SPLIT vote will surely allow the DEM to WIN!!!

    September 7, 2010 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  8. Johnny Five

    She has been in long enough. If she continues, it is simply to destroy the Republican party to make way for the other party to take over. She and the Democrat are one and the same in agendas and both will do whatever it takes to keep their two party system. Sore loser she is. Term limits!!

    September 7, 2010 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  9. tom

    Oh Please- Let it go.

    Go she if your Father can give you another job! Political hack!

    September 7, 2010 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  10. Barry

    Lisa Murkowski lost. She should take that and move on with her life. She ran as a Republican and was beaten as a Republican. Don't act like a turncoat Charlie Crist. It is just sad to see career politicians try to hold on when they obviously didn't listen to the will of the people. President Obowow will know this very feeling soon as well.

    September 7, 2010 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  11. BeverlyNC

    There are no good choices except the Democratic mayor who has done tremendous things for his community.

    Murkowski is a puppet of big oil and Miller is a total nutjob.

    Hopefully all the Palin haters in Alaska, and there are a lot, will reject her nutjob candidate and vote for the Democrat. It's time to end the Palin hate and bring common sense back into our government. That means a lot less Republicans.

    September 8, 2010 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  12. malabar

    Wow. murkowski may turn out to b more than just a daddys girl. i am a Palin fan, but i wudnt care either way between murkowski and miller. the dem sure isnt gonna win, so whatever. wud b interesting to see the Sarah and Lisa girlfight though. the last big girlfight was a doozy. . . but hillary became secretary of state at least ;-)

    September 8, 2010 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  13. Darth Vadik, CA

    In all reality I would say run as an independent and mess up the Republican candidate (ala Evil Liberman), but unlike Republicans I'm not a cruel man, so I'm saying "you lost get over it and move on to being a good ole' lobbyist."

    September 8, 2010 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  14. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Why doesn't Granny Sarah Grizzly throw all of her support behind this fellow pit bull?

    September 8, 2010 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  15. Curious Voter

    How much are the democratic backers paying her to try and split the conservative / moderate vote. She ran on the Republican primary and should be banned from ANY other role until the NEXT election cycle. If the people want her back they can have her. But not before.

    September 8, 2010 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  16. macguysea

    OMG... "I couldn't win as a Republican so now I'm gonna run as a third party candidate!.. That'll do it!.." (aka loser!!!!!!!!!!)

    September 8, 2010 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  17. Pat

    I have no love for republicans, but I'd like to see her step on that sarah palin moneybags........

    September 8, 2010 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  18. AK Steve

    Head to head in a statewide election (not a primary) I think Murkowski would beat Wilson. And if anything then the Dem wins (whoever he is) because they split the vote. But if Murkowski were to run again next term, she'd do better against a Dem then a Rep (even if it is a Tea party Rep).

    September 8, 2010 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  19. Step Aside!

    Lisa needs to step aside. As an Alaskan, I have generally liked her efforts in the Senate; but, I will never forgive her for accepting the direct appointment of her daddy to her job!! ENOUGH of this crap in Alaska and in the nation!!

    September 8, 2010 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  20. BJ in NC

    This is what sitting at home, not voting will get you. How did the GOP become hostage to the Tea Party? Lincoln is certainly turning over in his grave.

    September 8, 2010 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  21. Terry P

    The party leadership just can't stand for anyone they don't hand pick to win. And they wonder why Congress has such a low approval level.

    September 8, 2010 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  22. marianka

    I don't know if a US Senator was ever elected by write-in, but in 1980 Joe Skeen (NM) was elected to Congress as a write-in candidate. So, if Lisa's thinking of mounting a write-in campaign, it can be successful. Go, Lisa!!

    September 8, 2010 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  23. Bob of Lompoc

    Hope she jumps in and stirs the soup a little. Enough of Palin and her personal vendettas. It is time to revolt against "Pretty Girl", whose main reason for living is to cause everyone to look at her. I have all I want of her "see my makeup, see my hair, see my clothes, see me, aren't I cute" stuff. Fight back Republicans!

    September 8, 2010 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  24. Bibico

    The only reason this is news is that if she entered the race as a write-in candidate (the Libertarians have told her they're not interested) there's a good possibility she'd pull enough Republican voters away from the teabag right winger. The RNC would be in a panic because it would jeopardize a seat they thought was safely in the bag. Putting this seat in play for the Dems provides an unexpected potential assistance in holding a Senate majority. I'm sure the RNC will talk some sense into her (by any means) to get her to fade away on behalf of the Palin-endorsed "constitutional minimalist".

    September 8, 2010 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  25. This black liberal hates Obama

    If she's trying to stop Miller from getting a huge victory in November, she might succeed but as far as trying to defeat Miller or trying to help his Democratic opponent defeat Miller, that will never happen simply because Alaska is a traditional red state PERIOD!

    Besides, she will be her by her self with no Republican help, which will make it difficult for Murkowski to raise any amount of money much less huge ones, just like Charlie Crist is going through, I mean just look how well is working out for him (Rubio 40, Crist 32 and Meek 17).

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    September 8, 2010 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
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