Politics & Government

Alaska's Murkowski holds big fundraising edge over Tea Party favorite Miller

Sen. Lisa Murkowski has more than 20 times as much campaign cash as Republican primary challenger Joe Miller, an advantage that even the promised big spending on his behalf by the national Tea Party Express group isn't going to close.

Murkowski on Thursday was reporting to the Federal Election Commission that she had nearly $2.4 million in her campaign bank account as of the start of this month. Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto said the challenger recently had about $100,000 left in his account, and bought some ads since.

The Tea Party Express group is promising to narrow the money gap before the Aug. 24 Republican primary election, saying it plans to spend "a sizable amount that could approach $1 million" to support Miller. The group began this week with what it said was a $100,000 radio ad campaign for Miller.

Alaska Congressman Don Young also holds a sizeable money advantage over Republican primary challenger Sheldon Fisher, although Young's $221,077 is just a fraction of the million-dollar-plus war chests he used to bring into campaigns.

Fisher has put $100,000 of his own money into the race and reports $36,000 in his campaign account.

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