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POLITICS: PennAve

Joe Miller's odd non-concession concession

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Politics,Betsy Woodruff,Alaska,2014 Elections,Campaigns,PennAve,Mark Begich,Dan Sullivan

Despite numerous phone calls and emails from the Washington Examiner, a spokesman for Joe Miller’s U.S. Senate campaign has not confirmed that the candidate has conceded the Alaska race to former state Attorney General Dan Sullivan.

Miller’s candidacy raised Republican blood pressures. In the 2010 Tea Party wave, he defeated incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski for the Senate nomination but lost to her in the general after she ran a successful write-in campaign. Of the three front-runners for the 2014 nomination — Sullivan, Miller, and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell — Miller, beloved by Tea Partiers, was seen as the easiest target for Democrats.

For a bit, Miller wouldn’t rule out a potential independent bid for Senate if he lost in the primary. But during a debate between the primary candidates on Aug. 14, he committed to endorsing whoever won. Blood pressures lowered.

The next day, Sarah Palin and radio host Mark Levin endorsed Miller. Arizona immigration hawk Sheriff Joe Arpaio also got on board, recording a robo-call promising — per WesternJournalism.com — that the candidate would “stop the nonsense” brought on by lax border security. And James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, endorsed Miller just the day before the primary. Mike Huckabee hopped on the Miller bandwagon, too.

The last-minute burst of momentum seems to have propelled Miller into a surprise second-place finish over Treadwell. And since Sullivan’s Tuesday primary victory, Miller has been oddly taciturn. His campaign website has a statement giving a generic congratulatory message to Sullivan (“I have called and congratulated Dan Sullivan for running a strong campaign”).

“While there are still over 20,000 absentee ballots to be counted and several major precincts yet to report, it seems unlikely we will be able to close the 7000 vote gap, given the current trends,” the statement reads.

Since then, there’s been no word. The Washington Examiner will update this post if or when confirmation is available that Miller has, in fact, conceded to Sullivan.

Sullivan now faces incumbent Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat, in the November general election.

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