Alaska's Murkowski Concedes Senate Race to Kansan

By: From CBS News
By: From CBS News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska conceded her Senate primary race to Joe Miller Tuesday night. Miller, tonight's winner over the daughter of former Senator Frank Murkowski, hails from Osborne, Kansas, just a county north of Russell.

(Russell, Kansas is also the home turf of former Senators Bob Dole and Arlen Specter.)

Murkowski, a Republican, made the concession speech Tuesday night, a full week after the primary. Murkowski trailed Miller, a Fairbanks attorney, by 1,668 votes after last week's primary. Election officials began counting absentee and outstanding ballots Tuesday.

Murkowski made slight gains, but was never able to get Miller's lead below 1,100 votes. She said she informed Miller shortly before making the announcement on live television.

"We all know that this has been a long week, a terribly long week," she said at campaign headquarters.

She said that while there were outstanding votes, "I don't see a scenario where the primary will turn out in my favor, and that is a reality that is before me at this point in time."

Miller has never held elected office but enjoyed the backing of former Gov. Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Express.

Murkowski had hoped to avoid the fate that has befallen other incumbents nationwide as they were swept out of office in 2010 amid an anti-incumbent fervor.

She said she was proud of the campaign she ran, which she called "honest" and "upright." She said the campaign stayed focused on the issues and the "high road."

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