Sen. Murkowski agrees to three GOP primary debates

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has agreed to three debates with Republican primary challenger Joe Miller during the month of August. 

The candidates will meet on Aug. 10, 11 and 18. The Republican primary will be held on Aug. 24.

Attorney Joe Miller’s campaign received a boost last month from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has a history of political bad blood with both Sen. Murkowski and her father, former Gov. Frank Murkowski.  

Palin defeated Gov. Murkowski in a Republican primary in 2006, and has been publicly critical of Sen. Murkowski. Palin’s political action committee has given $5,000 to Miller’s campaign.   

Miller also won the backing of the Tea Party Express in June.

Miller has hit Murkowski on her search for a compromise in the energy bill, accusing the senator of trying to cut a deal with the White House. 

Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is considered a key vote on the energy bill and has been heavily courted by Senate Democrats. But the senator has said she thinks the only way to reach 60 votes is to move forward on a bill without the cap-and-trade provision favored by the White House.