JUNEAU, Alaska – The little-known Democrat in Alaska’s Senate race is labeling Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign as a lost cause.
Scott McAdams told the Associated Press on Saturday that it’s “wishful thinking” on Murkowski’s part if she thinks she can overcome history – and other factors after her loss in last month’s GOP primary to Joe Miller – to pull off a win.
She is “in the middle of a fight she can’t win,” he said, noting that other well-known Alaska politicians, including Wally Hickel and Ernest Gruening, failed in similar efforts. The last U.S. Senate candidate to succeed in such a bid was Strom Thurmond in 1954.
McAdams said some of the voters he needs to reach and swing to his side are “rational” Alaskans who recognize the challenge she faces.
But Murkowski is a household name in Alaska. She said she has more than $1 million in the bank, and she has a record voters can look to. She’s also Alaska’s senior senator, holding positions on the energy and appropriations committees, which are panels of special importance for a state that relies heavily on its resources and the federal government.
Murkowski has said she wouldn’t have re-entered the race if she didn’t believe she had a shot at winning. And she said she returned following the urging of Alaskans who wanted a choice between the “extremist” views of Miller and the inexperience of McAdams.
McAdams, 39, is working to gain name recognition outside southeast Alaska, where he’s held office at the local level for the past eight years, including the past two as mayor of Sitka. Critics say he’s too inexperienced to go to Washington, but he says he’s dealt with budgets and constituent concerns and that Miller hasn’t held elected office.