Will Dems step up to challenge GOP's Miller in Alaska?

McClatchy NewspapersAugust 25, 2010 

WASHINGTON — Wednesday morning, the folks at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee barely knew who'd won the Democratic senatorial primary in Alaska. (In fact, in an appearance on ABC's online political program, TopLine, DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse couldn't recall his name.)

That would be Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams, who like many Alaskans, woke up to a much different general election than the one he fell asleep to last night. Votes are still being counted, but Fairbanks attorney Joe Miller appears to have ousted Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the GOP primary.

Democrats, however, have experience pulling off tough upsets in Alaska -- look no further than 2008's toppling by Sen. Mark Begich of Ted Stevens, and by Wednesday afternoon, the Democrats seemed to have regrouped -- and they certainly knew not only McAdams' name, but Miller's as well.

In an e-mail blast, the DSCC labeled Miller a "dangerous enemy to middle-class Alaskans." They criticized his comments about Social Security, federal unemployment insurance and his stance on phasing out Medicare.

"Joe Miller seems more intent on imposing a strict social doctrine to please his out-of-state tea party backers but would leave the people of his state high and dry," said DSCC Communications Director Eric Schultz. "Alaskans deserve a senator who will stick up for them in the United States Senate."

The state Democratic party hosted a news conference with McAdams, who "will explain why he can and will win in November."

Meanwhile, their GOP counterparts at the National Republican Senatorial Committee were quick to say they have no intention of letting go of the seat.

The head of the NRSC, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, pledged to hold onto the seat, regardless of whether it's Miller or Murkowski on the ballot. "This seat will remain in Republican hands this November," he said.

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