Joe Miller files to run against Murkowski for Senate seat
Last updated at 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6
Joe Miller has announced he will run against Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the November election.
Miller has run against Murkowski before. In 2010, he won the Republican bid at the primary election, leading Murkowski to run a write-in campaign for the November election, which she won.
In a statement Tuesday, Miller said he will run against her again as the Libertarian Party’s nominee after candidate Cean Stevens withdrew from the race.
“I am grateful to Cean Stevens and the Alaska Libertarian Party for their vote of confidence,” he wrote. “It is humbling. They could not have been more gracious and helpful. This is an historic opportunity for liberty-loving Alaskans to lead this nation to a post-partisan future of limited constitutional government. I’m calling on all Alaskans of good will to join us in this effort. Together we can make history!”
When asked why he’s running now and not earlier during the Republican primary, Miller said he didn’t feel the need to run before former mayor Dan Sullivan dropped out of the primary race.
“This is an opportunity now to give those Republicans a choice as well as many other Alaskans who are fed up with the two-party system, that feel like the two-party system has sold them out,” he said.
Murkowski considered running as a Libertarian in 2010 after losing to Miller in the Republican primary. A post on his twitter account compared the idea to prostitution. It read: “What’s the difference between selling out your party’s values and the oldest profession?”
“You know we actually, my campaign, my candidacy, is much more in alignment with libertarian principles than Murkowski’s ever been,” Miller said when asked if his campaign now seemed hypocritical. “The point of that, and of course I didn’t’ author the tweet, I thought it was poorly stated, it’s one of those mistakes that we want to redo, but the point of the matter was that she was soliciting something that wasn’t reflective of her values because she just wanted to get on the ballot.”
Miller added that his candidacy happened by circumstance, but his values reflect those of the Alaska Libertarian Party, which he said chose him to be its candidate.
“If elected, Miller pledges to caucus with the Republican Party, but be a voice for reform on Capitol Hill and within the Last Frontier,” his statement said.
“Politicians say what politicians say to kind of suit themselves at any particular time,” said pollster Ivan Moore when asked about the 2010 tweet.
Moore said the political landscape has changed since 2010, the year of the Tea Party movement, and that things will different this time around, especially with the former Tea Party favorite moving across party lines .
“He caught fire in an unbelievable way in 2010, and so like I said, I said back then to myself that I wouldn’t write him off again, but these are different circumstances,”Moore said. “Lisa’s established even more than she was back then. She’s the most popular politician in Alaska.”
A recent poll shows Murkowski’s favorability rating is 61 percent, a contrast to just 37 percent in 2010. Moore said with a crowded race, he doesn’t think she has much to worry about.
“I see it having gone, with this new candidate, from a race that was an almost certainty for Murkowski to being extremely probable for her,” he explained.
The Division of Elections confirmed Miller filed his paperwork Tuesday, the last day political parties can make changes to their candidates.
Murkowski won the Republican primary election for her seat with more than two-thirds of the votes, initial numbers showed. That election’s official results have not been released.
KTVA 11’s Daniella Rivera contributed to this report.
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