JUNEAU — Republican Joe Miller plans to decide Monday whether to continue his legal challenge to Alaska’s U.S. Senate race or stand back and let his GOP rival, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, take office.
This follows the state Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday to uphold election results favoring Murkowski.
Miller told KTVA-TV of Anchorage Wednesday that he expected to decide the next day whether to fight on. But with the holiday weekend approaching, he told Fox News on Thursday that he’d consult with supporters and his legal team and announce a decision Monday.
Monday is the deadline he faces for making any case in federal court.
Miller said all options are being weighed. Those include pursuing constitutional claims in federal court and conceding. He has not publicly indicated whether he is leaning a certain way.
“We’re obviously rational,” Miller told KTVA. “We’re going to make a decision based upon whether or not we think we can continue to do good.”
Miller has argued for a strict reading of the law calling for write-in ballots to have the ballot oval filled in and either the candidate’s last name or name as it appears on the declaration of candidacy written. The state, relying on case law, used discretion in determining voter intent, allowing ballots with misspellings to be counted toward Murkowski’s tally.
The high court called voter intent “paramount.”
Unofficial results showed Murkowski leading by 10,328 votes, or 2,169 votes when ballots challenged by Miller observers are excluded. She ran a write-in campaign after losing her primary to Miller.
Murkowski on Wednesday reiterated her call for Miller to concede, saying the only people who will benefit from a continued fight are the lawyers.
Miller wasn’t immediately available for an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday. A statement released by his campaign Wednesday ended with a “P.S.” calling for donations of $25, $50, $75 or $100 to help “ensure a fair vote count in Alaska.”
The state plans to ask a federal judge to lift a stay and allow it to certify Murkowski the winner.
Members are scheduled to be sworn in for the new term of Congress Jan. 5.
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