Murkowski names Democrats as senators she admires

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who is running as a write-in candidate for reelection, named two Democrats Monday night when asked which senators she most admires.

The incumbent senator was ousted by Tea Party-backed candidate Joe Miller in the GOP primary and has since positioned herself as an independent-minded lawmaker who puts her state before ideology.

The Anchorage Daily News reported

"The (senators) that immediately come to mind are those that are on the other side of the aisle and I have a good working relationship with," Murkowski said. She named Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, and Sen. Jeff Bingaman, the New Mexico Democrat with whom Murkowski serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Murkowski's decision to launch a write-in bid has complicated the Alaska Senate race, which has divided Republicans who are hoping to take control of the upper chamber.

The Alaska senator was stripped of her leadership position in the Senate Republican Conference for running against the Miller, the GOP nominee she says is too extreme. 

The incumbent senator has said she would continue to serve as a Republican if she is reelected, but she has made overtures to Democrats and still appears to be pulling votes away from Miller. 

According to KTUU, Murkowski also named the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the long-time senator who recently died in a plane crash, as a lawmaker she admired.

Miller, a lawyer and Iraq War veteran, chose Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who has helped lead several Tea Party-backed candidates to victory in GOP primary races around the country, as a role model senator.

"There aren't too many of them in Congress that I really agree with because Congress as a whole has moved this country in a direction that's unsustainable," Miller said, according to the Daily News.

Democratic nominee Scott McAdams chose veteran Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), who was a close friend of Stevens.

Recent polls show Murkowski and Miller running neck-and-neck with McAdams trailing.