From David Hulen in Anchorage --
The Republican Party of Alaska issued a statement late this afternoon calling the U.S. Senate election for Lisa Murkowski, and calling on challenger Joe Miller to "to respect the will of the voters and end his campaign in a dignified manner."
The party strongly backed Miller after he won the Republican primary in August, and didn't support Murkowski when she later launched her write-in campaign.
Here's today's statement:
ALASKA REPUBLICANS RESPOND TO SENATE RACE RESULTS
Anchorage, Alaska—The Alaska Republican Party today congratulates Senator Lisa Murkowski on her victory in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race.
Murkowski has pulled significantly ahead of Joe Miller in unchallenged write-in ballots and has a sizable lead in total counted ballots. “At this point we are comfortable calling this race,” said Alaska Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich. “Lisa has won. We congratulate Lisa on her victory.”
The Alaska Republican Party stands ready to embrace Lisa Murkowski as Alaska’s only Republican U.S. Senator.
Joe Miller earned the Republican Party nomination for US Senate in August. “We commend Joe for running an energetic campaign,” said Ruedrich.
This campaign season has been trying on Alaska’s citizens. In addition to the normal drama that elections bring, Alaskan’s have lost their two greatest senior statesmen in Wally Hickel and Ted Stevens. “Alaskans need to begin coming to terms with all that has happened,” said Ruedrich. “This was a free and fair election. It is now time to look forward. We call on Joe Miller to respect the will of the voters and end his campaign in a dignified manner. We have every expectation that Joe will do the right thing.”