Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said she would welcome a write-in ballot bid by Senator Lisa Murkowski, while predicting it would be a “futile” effort.
“Joe Miller is going to win the general,” Palin said in a brief interview after she unexpectedly appeared at a Sept. 11 commemoration in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska. “It seems like it’s a futile effort, there, for a write-in effort, but she certainly has that right to do so.”
Murkowski, in one of the biggest upsets so far this U.S. election year, was defeated in a primary by Miller, who had the backing of Palin and the Tea Party movement.
Murkowski, 53, the Senate’s No. 4 Republican, conceded the race Aug. 31 after absentee ballot-counting failed to reverse Miller’s lead of more than 1,600 votes.
John Bitney, Murkowski’s campaign manager, declined to say when she would decide whether to pursue a write-in candidacy. He said she has received “a lot of encouragement” from “a broad spectrum of people from across the entire state” to run.
“I love competition in business and sports and politics,” Palin said. “It’s all good.”
Palin, 46, dismissed the notion that Murkowski could draw votes away from Miller, should she enter a race that also includes Democratic nominee Scott McAdams, the mayor of Sitka, Alaska.
“I do not believe so,” Palin said. “I believe that Joe Miller is going to solidify more and more support as the days go on, as more and more people know him, not just his resume and his record, but what motivates him and his intentions for this state and for our country.”
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