Lisa Murkowski enters long season of fund raising in need of $2-4 million

Posted: Friday, May 30, 2003

ANCHORAGE - Lisa Murkowski says she hasn't had a spare minute since taking over as Alaska's junior U.S. senator five months ago.

But she says she'll find the time to raise millions of dollars for her 2004 campaign to keep the seat given to her by her father when he became Alaska's governor.

Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, said she will need $2 million for her campaign. She has $300,000 and hopes to raise $500,000 by the end of June, she said at a Tuesday press conference in Anchorage.

The freshman senator is getting advice and support from two veteran Republican politicians, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young, who sat shoulder-to-shoulder with her at the conference.

Stevens said Murkowski will need between $3 million and $4 million for her campaign. To raise the money, she will have to appear at two to three fund-raisers a week until the election, Stevens said.

Stevens and Young said they will do what they can to help Murkowski stay in the Senate.

"The two of us are absolutely committed to Sen. Murkowski," said Stevens, Alaska's senior senator.

Even with Young and Stevens' endorsements, Murkowski may face a fight. Murkowski said she's not heard of any Republican opponents, but former Gov. Tony Knowles' name continues to come up as a possible Democratic opponent.

Knowles recently visited Washington, D.C., and met with political contacts in the Senate. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has pledged money to the Democratic candidate to make the race competitive.

Stevens said there are only five or six races nationwide for incumbents to be concerned about.

"We are concerned about this one," he said.

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