Joe Miller Concedes Alaska Senate Race (Finally)

A day after Lisa Murkowski was certified the winner of the Alaska Senate race, Tea Partier Joe Miller has conceded, ending a dramatic two-month legal battle over the seat.

The AP reports:

The concession ends what started as a promising campaign for Miller, a Sarah Palin-backed tea party favorite who upset Murkowski in the GOP primary, in his first bid for statewide public office.

He was widely seen as the favorite for winning in the fall election. But then Murkowski re-emerged as a wild card, launching her longshot write-in campaign.

With the vote favor Murkowski, Miller went to court and argued the state's handling of the election and vote count for Murkowski was not in line with the law. But three courts ruled against him.

Miller had the option of appealing a federal judge's ruling or formally contesting the election results. He said he's right about the law but it's "very unlikely" an appeals court would take his side. He said he had to accept "practical realities."

As we all recall, Miller fought tooth-and-nail to have Murkowski's write-in votes discredited:

The law calls for write-in ballots to have the ovals filled and either the candidate's last name or name as it appears on the declaration of candidacy written. Miller argued for a strict reading of this, meaning no ballots with misspellings or extra words should be counted, as the state did for Murkowski.

The state used discretion to determine voter intent, with officials saying they did not want to disenfranchise any voters. The state Supreme Court called voter intent "paramount," and refused to overturn election results favoring Murkowski.

Another Tea Partier bites the dust...

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at January 1, 2011, 9:03am