By Libby Casey
The national group that works to get Republicans elected to the Senate is congratulating Joe Miller on his win in the primary. Senator Lisa Murkowski conceded to him last night. The National Republican Senatorial Committee put out a statement applauding Miller as its nominee, and pledging its support. Just days ago Miller was accusing the N-R-S-C of what he called “meddling” in the campaign on Murkowski’s behalf.
But now that he’s the presumed nominee, N-R-S-C spokesman Brian Walsh says his group is willing to help Miller with staff and funds, but they’ll wait to see if he requests it:
If he needs our help, we will be happy to provide it. But he just ran a great campaign. And frankly the ball’s in the Democrat’s court. They are on the defense in 12 Democratic-held states right now. And that’s before we even get to a state like Alsaka. So I think it remains to be seen whether the democrats will be behind their own candidate. But we’re making clear if he needs our help he’ll have it.
The national group that helps Democrats get elected to the Senate says it believes Scott McAdams is a strong candidate, but it would not say whether it plans to send money and support staff up to Alaska. Its funding could be valuable for McAdams, the mayor of Sitka, who hopes to boost his name recognition in the state. A spokeswoman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee says it never talks about fundraising strategy. The D-S-C-C would not go on tape with A-P-R-N about the Senate race or its level of support for McAdams.
A spokeswoman for the McAdams campaign in Anchorage says they are focused on seeking support from Alaskans.
Senator Mark Begich says he fully plans to ask the D-S-C-C and others to get involved and contribute to the McAdams effort:
Oh I’m going to be asking, you betcha I’m going to be asking. There’s no question in my mind that of all the races in the country, this is one they should put on high priority.
Begich says he thinks the race is wide open, and will likely be tightly contested in the end.
Joe Miller, an Ivy League lawyer who’s run a national campaign, not an Alaskan campaign. Then Scott McAdams, a mayor, I’m biased about mayors, understand how to balance a budget, deal with budget reductions and Republicans and Democrats, and solve problems.
Begich, who was himself the mayor of Anchorage, says that since McAdams won the Democratic primary last week, his campaign has garnered tens of thousands of dollars in donations from Alaskans.