Joe Miller's Swan Song
Alaska residents received a Christmas miracle on Sunday--and many would argue this gift is long overdue.
Nearly two months after Election Day, former Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller announced he would be not block incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski's certification as the state's U.S. senator.
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, but she entered the race as a write-in-candidate and would end up winning.
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.”
The AP reports:
U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline, who is hearing Miller's federal court challenge, must still decide whether to lift his stay before the state can move ahead with certification. There was no immediate word on when that might occur.
But Beistline had already indicated he was likely to lift the stay, saying Alaska should have a senator in place when Congress' new term begins, even if that means later having to replace that person when all legal disputes are eventually resolved.
Murkowski can now be declared the official winner of the race.
Though Miller won't challenge Murkowski's win, he's leaving his options open for pursuing his own legal battle over the state's handling of the votes.
“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."
"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.
Miller has been linked to all kinds of shenangians including: