According to the D.C.-based publication The Hill, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is leaving open the option to endorse in Alaska’s GOP Senate primary, which, if it happens, would be a move that would break with protocol. So far, the NRSC has remained neutral, but according to Executive Director Rob Collins “we reserve the right to endorse.”
I’ve also said early on in my tenure at NRSC that if the Democrats attempt to choose our nominees we will plot a course that Republicans are responding. This isn’t particularly directed at Alaska but just generally we have not sat idly as we’ve watched Harry Reid’s efforts to choose whom the Republicans nominate.
The pro-Begich super-PAC, Put Alaska First, has spent more than $3.7 million attacking GOP candidate Dan Sullivan. So far, the PAC has left the other candidates, Mead Treadwell and Joe Miller, out of the race.
In a phone interview on Thursday, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski shared Collins’ frustration with the huge amount of pre-primary money that’s coming into the state by the Democrats. She also seemed frustrated with the time-honored position of not endorsing pre-primary.
“I have said that I won’t get involved, but it’s frustrating,” she said, “We’ve got (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid spending millions of dollars to drag Dan Sullivan down and through the mud and trying to weaken him. Begich and Reid are scared. Dan is clearly in a position to beat Mark Begich,” she said.
Murkowski said it’s all the more vexing because Begich has drawn her into the race by continuing to use her name in his ads, despite her objections. She suspects that Begich is doing so to draw voters to Joe Miller. Indeed, Murkowski is Miller’s nemesis. He has repeatedly evoked her name during forums and debates as an example of an establishment Republican who is bringing the party and the country down.
Miller has used both Sullivan and Treadwell’s support for Murkowski in 2010 as a talking point against them, but he has saved particular heat for Treadwell, who has been trying to out tea party and out conservative Miller.
Here’s a recent tweet from Miller’s spokesman:
— Randy DeSoto (@RandyDeSoto) August 2, 2014
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