Senate races

Sen. Jim DeMint is gearing up to help Joe Miller’s legal battle in Alaska

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and his Senate Conservatives Fund, which funneled several million dollars to Tea Party-backed Senate candidates this cycle, is ready to help Joe Miller fight Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s high-flying legal team in Alaska. 

The political action committee is currently exploring exactly how it can assist Miller, the Republican nominee, on the fundraising front in what is expected to be a costly and drawn-out ballot-counting process. 

{mosads}Miller is likely to need the help since he’ll be up against a top-notch legal team assembled by Murkowski, who ran as a write-in candidate after she lost the GOP primary to Miller. The incumbent’s legal efforts will be led by GOP heavyweight Ben Ginsberg, who played a leading role in the recount effort in Florida on behalf of then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) in 2000. 

As it stands now, the “write-in” category leads Miller’s vote total by 7 percent. The assumption is that the vast majority of those write-in votes were cast for Murkowski, but Miller’s camp is banking on the possibility that many of them could be declared invalid.

If ballots do not spell Murkowski’s name correctly or cast some doubt as to the intent of the voter, Miller’s camp will likely argue that those votes should be invalidated.    

“Previous write-in campaigns in Alaska have demonstrated that as much as 5 to 6 percent of returned ballots have not met the standard to be counted as a valid vote,” Miller’s camp said in a statement Wednesday. 

The splash page of Miller’s website contains a fundraising appeal to help with the costs of the impending legal battle. 

A source close to DeMint said the senator has no qualms about continuing to help Miller through what will likely be a contentious ballot-counting process, even though he ruffled some GOP feathers throughout the primary season. 

DeMint stayed out of the GOP primary between Miller and Murkowski earlier this summer, but after Miller won the primary, DeMint officially endorsed him and helped lead the general-election charge against Murkowski. 

The Senate Conservatives Fund bankrolled an ad that attacked Murkowski and Democratic nominee Scott McAdams on abortion. DeMint also urged the Republican Conference in the Senate to oust Murkowski from her top spot on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. 

Tags Lisa Murkowski

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