Murkowski Stays in Alaska, Will Miss Vote

Posted September 13, 2010 at 9:29am

Senate Republican Conference Vice Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski is still at home in Alaska and was not scheduled to be on Capitol Hill for a planned Monday evening vote on one of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominations, according to sources.

Murkowski, who lost her Senate primary to Fairbanks lawyer Joe Miller, has yet to reveal whether she will pursue re-election in the Nov. 2 general election as a write-in candidate or on the Libertarian ticket. According to Alaska news reports, Murkowski is considering her options, which include accepting the will of GOP primary voters and retiring at year’s end.

Sources said it was unclear when Alaska’s senior Senator would return to Washington, D.C., for a session that is expected to last no more than four weeks, and possibly only three.

Murkowski’s fellow Republican leaders have moved quickly to back Miller.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is among those who have offered him hearty endorsements. Republican lobbyists on K Street area also preparing to abandon Murkowski in favor of Miller, who is expected in D.C. at the end of September for a series of fundraisers and meet-and-greet events.

Meanwhile, Republican Senate aides have signaled that Murkowski could immediately lose her leadership post if she stays in the Senate race. Other GOP sources have suggested that Murkowski might be stripped of her ranking position on Energy and Natural Resources even if she managed to win re-election.