Politics & Government

Minus Murkowski, Alaska's Senate candidates hit campaign trail

Alaska candidates for U.S. Senate spent Labor Day weekend meeting voters and trading insults in what's promising to be a point-blank battle as each paints himself as the sensible alternative to the other guy's radical views or failed ideas.

Voters found Republican Joe Miller and Democrat Scott McAdams already on the campaign trail as the fall political season began across the country. Miller says he hit the Alaska State Fair in Palmer for the third straight day on Monday, while McAdams, who was at the fair earlier in the weekend, appeared in a Labor Day parade in Fairbanks.

On the sidelines: incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the Republican who wasn't supposed to lose her primary to Miller in the first place. As Murkowski spent time with family in the Interior, an official with the Alaska Libertarian Party said her campaign met with the Libertarians over the weekend.

The topic: a slim but lingering chance that Murkowski could somehow rejoin the Senate race by trading places with the ALP candidate, David Haase. Party chairman Scott Kohlhaas said the meetings are leading up to a discussion with Murkowski herself if she decides she wants a spot on the party's ticket.

But it's unlikely Libertarian leaders -- who have disapproved of Murkowski's voting record in the past -- will allow her on the ballot before the Sept. 15 deadline, he said. "I tried to warn the Murkowski people that they're trying to climb Mount McKinley here ... it's probably impossible."

McAdams and Miller aren't waiting around to get started.

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