Tags: US | Alaska | Senate

AP Exclusive: Murkowski Says She's Not a Quitter

Tuesday, 07 Sep 2010 06:53 PM

A week after conceding the GOP primary, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she's not a quitter and is "still in this game."

Murkowski told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she's been inundated with calls and e-mails from supporters, asking her not to leave the race. She says she's been humbled, and is listening — and weighing her options.

She met briefly with the Libertarian candidate Tuesday, after friends of hers — without her direction — approached the Libertarian party, asking if they'd consider a Murkowski candidacy. She says she had an interesting discussion with candidate David Haase but made clear she's not interested in changing her "political stripes."

Murkowski also could seek a write-in candidacy, which she called high risk. Or, she could stay out of the race.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate David Haase said he's meeting Tuesday with Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski as the Republican Murkowski is being urged by supporters to find a way to stay in the race despite her loss in the primary last month.

Murkowski conceded the GOP nomination to Joe Miller last week, meaning that to be re-elected in November she'd have to run as a write-in candidate or on a third-party ticket. Haase could withdraw his candidacy, leaving an opening on the Libertarian ticket that could be filled by Murkowski.

Haase told The Associated Press of the Tuesday morning meeting at an undisclosed location with Murkowski, but Murkowski spokesman Steve Wackowski couldn't confirm that. Haase said he wouldn't make any decision about his political options without sleeping on it.

At this point, the odds of her appearing on the Libertarian ticket appear to be long. Party leaders had earlier voted against putting her on the ballot though Chairman Scott Kohlhaas said the party has tried to stay open in continuing a dialogue.

Kohlhaas said there have been talks with unidentified Murkowski backers about a Libertarian run.

"To their credit, they have reached out," he said.

He described the talks about philosophy, platform and issues as fruitful and constructive, but described her candidacy as a Libertarian as seemingly impossible.

Wackowski said no one with Murkowski's campaign core had met with the Libertarians.

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