Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski claimed victory Wednesday night in a speech to supporters in Anchorage.
“I think we can say our miracle is here,” she told cheering supporters, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
Murkowski returned home from Washington one day after the state Division of Elections concluded counting write-in ballots, with Murkowski leading Republican Joe Miller by more than 10,000 votes. Murkowski launched her long-shot write-in campaign after Miller defeated her in the GOP primary in August.
The general election race has not been certified, but the Associated Press called it for Murkowski in the afternoon, and the state Republican Party later encouraged Miller to concede. His campaign is leaving its options open, including awaiting a ruling on a lawsuit it filed in federal court regarding election procedures.
Still, Murkowski is moving forward as if the race is over. She would be the first person elected to the Senate through a write-in campaign since 1954.
“Today, I think it’s safe to say Alaskans have chosen the path of unity, the deliberative path, the common sense path. And I think they’ve shown that through this write-in process,” she said. “Can you imagine, over a hundred thousand people who wrote in the same name.”
Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.