ANCHORAGE - Ten days ago, Scott McAdams had a volunteer treasurer and a few thousand dollars to help him pursue the Democratic nomination for U.S. senator in Alaska.
With the shocking upset victory by tea party darling Joe Miller over U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski for the Republican nomination, volunteers and money are flowing his way.
A pair of staffers from the office of U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, are taking leave to assist the campaign. McAdams has hired a spokeswoman.
The Democratic Senatorial Candidate Committee is polling in Alaska to find out if their money would be well-spent backing McAdams, the mayor of Sitka.
Wednesday evening, McAdams was listed among the top fundraisers on ActBlue.com, which helps Democrats set up fundraising campaigns for candidates, with $76,117 in donations. McAdams expects his campaign to have collected $100,000 by the end of the week as Alaskans pitch in to help him defeat the Republican endorsed by former Gov. Sarah Palin.
"Things are ramping up," McAdams said Wednesday in an interview.
He will face a Republican who, until a few months ago, was also a political unknown.
Miller is a Fairbanks attorney, a West Point graduate and a decorated Gulf War veteran. He cast Murkowski as too liberal and part of the problem in an out-of-control Washington. He won the endorsement of Palin and was subsequently backed financially by the Tea Party Express.
Miller on Tuesday night repeated his contention that the answer to the country's financial solvency crisis is to transfer power and holdings back to the states.
Alaska has long depended on federal largesse, Miller said, but could work toward self-reliance with more control of its own resources and a reduction in federal regulatory burdens.
Senate Democrats quickly lumped Miller into what it's calling the "Tea Party Set" with Senate Republican hopefuls Rand Paul in Kentucky, Marco Rubio in Florida, Sharron Angle of Nevada, Ken Buck of Colorado and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.