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Murkowski Takes Lead

Eric Engman/Getty Images
Sen. Lisa Murkowski has taken the lead for the first time in her re-election battle against Republican Joe Miller.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski took the lead Monday for the first time in her re-election race in Alaska, pulling ahead of Republican nominee Joe Miller after the latest round of absentee and write-in ballots were tabulated.

Murkowski has collected 92,164 votes, while Miller has 90,448. 

Murkowski’s total includes 7,601 write-in votes that have been challenged by the Miller campaign. Miller has filed a lawsuit claiming that state law requires Murkowski’s name to be spelled correctly. 

With thousands of absentee ballots left to count, Murkowski could take enough unchallenged votes for the suit to be irrelevant.

“If there’s more votes for Lisa Murkowski through that process, it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to continue on with some legal fight if all you’re going to do is go to court to hope to lose by less,” Murkowski spokesman Kevin Sweeney said, according to the local NBC affiliate.

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