Murkowski Concedes Alaska GOP Primary
Incumbent loses to Palin-backed newcomer Joe Miller
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 31, 2010 10:24 PM CDT
Updated Sep 1, 2010 7:19 AM CDT
Joe Miller and his wife Kathleen enter election central in Anchorage, Alaska last week.   (AP Photo/Michael Dinneen)
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(Newser) – In what could be America's biggest political upset of the year, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski has been booted from office in the Republican primary by a little-known, Sarah Palin-backed conservative lawyer. Murkowski—who was 1,668 votes behind after last week's primary—conceded defeat to Joe Miller last night after she only made slight gains when absentee and outstanding ballots were counted.

"We all know that this has been a long week, a terribly long week," Murkowski said at her campaign headquarters. She said that while there were still outstanding votes, "I don't see a scenario where the primary will turn out in my favor, and that is a reality that is before me at this point in time." Miller, 43, is an Ivy League-educated lawyer, a West Point graduate, and a decorated Gulf War veteran who cast Murkowski as too liberal and part of the problem in an out-of-control Washington.