The Alaska Libertarian Party said today that it would not name Sen. Lisa Murkowski their Senate nominee if she loses her Republican primary bid to Tea Party-backed challenger Joe Miller, the Anchorage Daily News reports.
Last week's primary is still too close to call; Miller currently leads by nearly 1,700 votes, but more than 23,000 ballots remain to be counted, according to the Associated Press.
The Libertarian Party's decision leaves Murkowski with one less way to proceed with her re-election bid, if she were to lose the Republican primary. The Libertarian Party is the only third party in the Senate race, meaning Murkowski could still run as a write-in candidate but is now left with no chance at a third-party bid.
Alaska Libertarian Party chairman Scott Kohlhaas told the Daily News that the party's five-member executive committee held an emergency meeting yesterday to consider whether to accept Murkowski as their candidate, should that become an issue, and unanimously decided against it. Murkowski does not reflect the values of the party, Kohlhaas said.
Neither Murkowski nor her campaign staffers ever approached the Libertarian Party about joining their ticket, the Daily News reports, but there was still speculation about the possibility.
In response to the Libertarian Party's decision, Murkowski spokesman Steve Wackowski said the campaign was "solely focused on ensuring a fair vote count tomorrow," Politico reports.
The Alaska Division of Elections will start counting remaining votes tomorrow, a process that could last through next week.CBSNews.com Special Report: Campaign 2010