Politics & Government

Murkowski's write-in plan may have inspired other Alaska candidates

The decision of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski to run as a write-in candidate after losing in the Republican primary has energized runners-up in at least two other races who spent the weekend mulling over whether to mount their own write-in campaigns.

Bill Walker, a governor candidate who got 33 percent of the Republican primary vote, hasn't yet decided whether to run as a write-in against Gov. Sean Parnell, who won the GOP primary, and Democratic nominee Ethan Berkowitz, said Taylor Bickford, Walker's campaign manager.

Also considering a write-in candidacy is Bill Cook, who lost by four votes in the Republican primary for House District 18, which includes parts of Anchorage and Eagle River.

With Murkowski's announcement Friday afternoon that she will run as a write-in, "it definitely looks more attractive than it did before," Bickford said. "It brings a lot of legitimacy to a write-in candidacy."

Murkowski will campaign hard and will educate voters on the process, which includes filling in the bubble and writing in the name, making it easier for other write-in candidates, Bickford said. She's taking on Republican Joe Miller, who narrowly beat her in the primary with the support of the Tea Party Express, and Democrat Scott McAdams.

Walker, an Anchorage attorney who invested about $300,000 of his own money into his unsuccessful primary bid, framed his campaign around a vision of building a natural gas pipeline in Alaska, from the North Slope to Valdez.

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