Alaska Certifies Lisa Murkowski's Win As Write-In Senator
Sen. Lisa Murkowski was officially certified as the winner of the U.S. Senate race in Alaska on Thursday, nearly two months after November's midterm elections.
Murkowski's certification "will ensure that there is no interruption in [her] service and seniority," and that she is sworn in next week when the new Senate seats.
The state's top two elected officials named Murkowski, a write-in candidate, the winner by 10,252 votes, putting an end to a long drawn out legal battle waged by her Republican opponent Joe Miller.
Miller gained popularity last spring after Sarah Palin and the Tea Party rallied behind him. He would go on to beat Murkowski in the Republican primary in an upset. She then launched a write-in campaign and was declared the race's winner.
On Sunday Miller announced he would be not block Murkowski's certification and re-election.
In a statement, Miller noted the importance of Alaska having full representation when the new Congress seats on Jan. 5, "This decision will allow Alaskans to focus on bringing fairness and transparency to our elections process without distraction of the certification issue.”
“We want the end result of this legal action to be for the people of Alaska to not only have full faith in the outcome of this race, but a confidence in the manner in which elections will be conducted in our state in the future," he said in the statement. "Election integrity is vital."
Many felt Miller overstayed his welcome.
The official vote count on Thursday showed Murkowski beat Miller by 10,252 votes.
"It's time to end this. It's time to say that the election is over," she said.
Though Miller's initial popularity seemed promising, the Republican Party left the candidate in the dust when he began falling to Murkowski in the polls in the days leading up to the election.
The L.A. Times reports:
Murkowski is expected to caucus with Republicans, though she has recently taken positions at odds with the conservative wing of her party in the Senate.
In the recently completed lame-duck session, Murkowski voted to ratify the new arms treaty with Russia and to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law that barred gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.
She was one of three Republicans to support the DREAM Act, which would have provided a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and who are in college or serving in the military. The measure was defeated by conservatives who feared it would become the opening wedge into the more complex issue of immigration reform.