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New Senate organization announced - 11/7/2012 12:48 pm

Homer Revealed - 8/22/2012 2:08 pm

Seven-day countdown - 5/25/2012 8:37 pm

Anchorage city clerk resigns (UPDATED) - 5/23/2012 10:51 am

Gara to seek re-election - 5/2/2012 2:04 pm

For one lawmaker: Good news - 4/27/2012 12:20 pm

Anticipation in the Capitol - 4/26/2012 11:38 am

Election Commission finds 1/2 of precincts ran out of ballots; recommends no investigation - 4/25/2012 5:08 pm

Murkowski elected to Senate GOP leadership role

While President Barack Obama is shown on television speaking from the Rose Garden, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Ak., newly named vice chairwoman of the Republican Senatorial Conference, appeared with Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., at a news conference on Capitol Hill Thursday.(AP/Harry Hamburg)While President Barack Obama is shown on television speaking from the Rose Garden, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Ak., newly named vice chairwoman of the Republican Senatorial Conference, appeared with Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., at a news conference on Capitol Hill Thursday.(AP/Harry Hamburg)

From Erika Bolstad in Washington D.C. –-

It’s official: Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is moving into the Senate GOP’s inner circle.

Her Senate Republican colleagues voted today to make her vice chairman of the Republican Conference. In that role, she’ll be in charge of spreading the Republican message, Murkowski said.

"It’s not just an issue of pushing back, for instance, on a health care plan that doesn’t deliver what the president is seeking," Murkowski said during a press conference announcing the election results. "We need to, as Republicans, be able to voice, be able to express what our solutions, what our plans, what our proposals are and how they truly fit in with the agenda, whether it is from Alaska to Maine or parts in between."

Murkowski’s move comes at a low moment for Republicans: in the wake of two sex scandals, including one that, indirectly, led to her ascent into leadership ranks. The position opened up after Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada, disclosed this month that he had an affair with an aide. He resigned, and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., sought his place as the policy committee chairman. Murkowski landed Thune's old job as the vice chairman.

Murkowski, the only woman in GOP Senate leadership, was unopposed in her race for the seat, which is chosen by her fellow Republican senators. She had been serving in an informal advisory role to the leadership team as one of three "counsels" appointed by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. the Senate Republican leader.

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