From Sean Cockerham in Anchorage –
Lisa Murkowski supporters are urging people to come out tonight for what’s being called a “campaign kick off,” although her campaign manager isn’t ready to say that she’s decided to run.
Bonnie Jack, who was a Murkowski campaign elections observer for the count of absentee votes, sent out an email this morning. “Join us at the Kick-off of Senator Lisa's campaign -- with a theme of "write in her name in and fill in the oval."
"Denai'na Convention Center, third floor and hopefully out on the sunny deck, 5 pm. Bring your family including children, friends and business associates. We plan to make history!”
Jack confirmed to me that she sent the email, and indicated that obviously the conclusion to be drawn from it is that Murkowski is running.
Mary Gore, Murkowski’s cousin, also wrote on her Facebook page today that “today is big....my cousin will announce at 5:00 today that she will run as a write-in candidate for US Senate. GO LISA GO! If you live in Anchorage, come join the party at the Dena'ina Center. Doors open early. Come be a part of history AND learn how to spell her last name correctly for the ballot!”
Gore indicated to me that she'd heard it from Murkowski, but said it wasn't her announcement to make.
Murkowski campaign manager John Bitney wouldn’t confirm that Murkowski has made the decision to run, saying he wouldn’t comment on that.
But he said the campaign is inviting people to come and hear Murkowski’s announcement.
“We want as many people there as possible and I am recommending that folks be there,” Bitney told me this morning.
Murkowski is right now on her way back to Alaska from Washington D.C.
(Update -- The inevitable anonymously sourced stories are now rolling in saying that Murkowski is running, including CNN.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has decided it's a done deal that Murkowski is running and is wasting no time in touting Sitka mayor Scott McAdams, the Democrat in the race.
It remains to be seen if the DSCC will actually give McAdams any money, though. So far it hasn't and won't say whether it will.
The DSCC just put out this statement:
“Lisa Murkowski’s decision to mount a write-in campaign is just the latest example of the Republican Party cannibalizing itself. From the tip of Florida, to the beaches in Delaware, all the way to the islands off Alaska, the Republican Party heads into November with deep and serious divisions.
“Alaska voters now have three options in November: a Washington insider who supports the failed economic policies of the past, an extremist who wants to end Social Security and Medicare, and a small-town mayor who would put Alaskan families first.”)