Alaska state officials on Thursday certified Sen. Lisa Murkowski winner of the Nov. 2 election, the Associated Press reports,
capping a remarkable comeback for an incumbent who mounted a long-shot write-in campaign to keep her job.
Murkowski lost to tea party favorite Joe Miller
in an August Republican primary. Then she defied the GOP establishment and ran as a write-in candidate, winning by more than 10,000 votes.
But Miller, a Fairbanks lawyer, didn't concede. In a series of legal actions, he challenged ballots that misspelled Murkowski's name and sought a recount of the entire race because he said some voting machines did not function properly. But state and federal courts have rejected his appeals.
Still, Miller has options. He could appeal the latest ruling against him to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Anchorage Daily News reports
. He is scheduled to announce his intentions at a news conference
Friday in Anchorage, according to the AP.
Murkowski becomes the first senator to prevail on a write-in vote
since Strom Thurmond of South Carolina in 1954. She is to be sworn in when Congress reconvenes Jan. 5.
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