Murkowski cites constituent support as reason for write-in bid

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who lost Alaska’s GOP Senate primary to Tea Party-favorite Joe Miller, announced last Friday she’s going to attempt a write-in candidacy to keep her job. On Sunday, she explained her decision to Candy Crowley on CNN’s State of the Union by saying she is just following what her constituents have been asking her to do.

Murkowski said Alaskan voters urged her to pursue a write-in bid to keep her Senate seat. A campaign spokesperson, Steve Wackowski, told The Daily Caller she’s received thousands of messages from voters ranging from calls, e-mails, faxes, Facebook notes and Tweets.

When TheDC asked Wackowski for those e-mails and other communications, he provided eight examples, a selection of those from across the state.

One such constituent, Norm Wooten, of Kodiak, Alaska, told TheDC when contacted that he knows Murkowski’s write-in candidacy could and probably will hurt the Republican Party but that he’s standing up for what he believes in, even if it benefits Democrats. Immediately after the primary election that Miller won, Wooten wrote to Murkowski:

“The loss in the primary was a loss for Alaska.  I am really frightened as a moderate Republican over what Mr. Miller represents to the party and Alaska.  I also resent a great deal an outside organization, such as the tea party, presuming to affect Alaska’s election. Should you decide to run as an independent you can count on my support in whatever way is needed.  We need you back in DC”

Wooten, a self-described moderate Republican, said in a phone interview with TheDC that it’s a politician’s job to represent the people of his or her constituency, not the political party he or she is from – which is why he said he supports Murkowski.

“I think the primary was hijacked,” Wooten said, referring to national Tea Party organizations who spent money in Alaska in support of Miller.

NEXT: Another e-mail urging Murkowski to run as an independent
One voter, who wasn’t identified as either Republican or Democrat, wrote this:

“Alaska has been hijacked!  Senator, please give serious consideration to running as an independent Republican should you not prevail in the primary election.  Our state was hijacked in the primary by a well funded outside interest group. Let’s face it rural Alaska which is predominately Democrat had a tough choice in the closed primary.  This was deleterious to your efforts. You, like my family, are of territorial stock.  I don’t want an outside group electing an outsider to senate obscurity.  If this had been won fair and square, I’d not be writing this. Your support for development issues and for the support of all Alaskans is appreciated.  Please consider what we as a state have to lose if we tolerate this charade.  Thanks for your service and blessings in your decision.”

Murkowski wasn’t able to garner the support she’d had in general elections from both Democrats and Republicans because the primaries in Alaska are closed, meaning they’re open only to registered Republicans.

A registered Democratic voter in Alaska wrote this in an e-mail to Murkowski:

“If for some crazy reason you do not prevail in the primary election, please please become a candidate for the Libertarian party or as a write-in.  As a registered democrat I will love getting my fellow democrats to write you in on their ballots.  You may be Republican — but you ROCK.”

TheDC chose not to publish the names of the e-mail authors who did not respond for comment, per a request Murkowski’s campaign made when providing the private correspondence.

No write-in candidate has ever won a senatorial race in Alaska before. Because of that, Wooten said he considers Murkowski an “underdog” candidate.

“It’s certainly an uphill battle,” he told TheDC.