Alaska's Democratic Senate nominee, Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams, made an appeal to supporters of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to jump aboard his "moderate" and "rational" campaign Wednesday.
After the surprising turn of events in the state's GOP Senate primary, McAdams was thrust into the spotlight and in a news conference Wednesday, he attacked attorney Joe Miller, who leads Murkowski by less than 2,000 votes on the Republican side.
McAdams implored Murkowski backers to "look at our campaign" and promised to run a "practical and commonsense" race while Miller espouses "19th Century ideology."
He also derided the Tea Party Express, the group that spent some $600,000 on TV and radio ads to help elect Miller, as "a national media phenomenon that doesn't reflect Alaska values."
As for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's potential impact on the general election, McAdams called her "a larger figure at the national level than at the state level. I don't see her playing a large role in this race."
Palin endorsed Miller in the GOP primary and the candidate credited her with his strong showing Tuesday.
Even though McAdams and national Democrats are already looking beyond Murkowski and anticipating Miller will emerge as the Republican nominee for the fall, the incumbent told reporters Wednesday she isn't giving up just yet. With thousands of absentee ballots yet to be counted, Murkowski said she could still overtake Miller.
McAdams admitted he was surprised by the close contest on the Republican side, calling it a clear indication voters want "change" in November. "I submit to you that I am that change, not Joe Miller," he said.
McAdams dodged questions over whether he has had contact with national Democrats or the DSCC, saying only "I believe Democrats all over Alaska and all over the country are excited about our candidacy."
He also said he has no intention of stepping aside for a more well-known candidate and that he hasn't been asked to do so.
The reality for McAdams, who has raised less than $10,000 for his campaign according to his most recent FEC filing, is that he would likely need significant help from the national party to make the race competitive even facing a political novice like Miller.