Murkowski concedes to Miller in Alaska Senate race

Holly Bailey
September 1, 2010

A week after the primary, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski conceded to challenger Joe Miller Tuesday night, becoming the seventh congressional incumbent and fourth Republican to lose a primary challenge this election year.

Miller, who was endorsed by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Express, narrowly defeated Murkowski in last week's voting. Murkowski's campaign was hopeful she might catch up to Miller as Alaska election officials counted nearly 20,000 absentee ballots. At one point Tuesday, Miller's advantage narrowed to just over 1,300 votes, but he surged again late this afternoon, prompting Murkowski to concede the race.

"I don't see a scenario where the primary will turn in my favor," Murkowski told supporters gathered at her headquarters in Anchorage.

A moderate, Murksowki came under fire from conservative activists who criticized her support for abortion rights and stem-cell research. A poll of Alaska GOP primary voters found that a majority — 47 percent — believed Murkowski was "too liberal" while Miller was considered "just right."  Murkowski reportedly considered a third-party independent bid, but registration deadlines in Alaska had long passed.

Miller now faces Democrat Scott McAdams in the general election.

(Photo of Murkowksi by Alex Wong/Getty Images)