Lisa Murkowski Wins Alaskan Spelling Bee

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Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

It's official, according to NBC and the AP: Republican Lisa Murkowski has defeated tea partier Joe Miller, becoming the first write-in candidate to win a Senate race since Strom Thurmond in 1954. The question now becomes what kind of Senator she'll be. Murkowski, a moderate, has blamed South Carolina's Jim DeMint, and his support for less-electable tea-party candidates like Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle, for preventing the GOP from taking the Senate majority. She famously deplores Sarah Palin (and the feeling is mutual). She just barely overcame the tea party's attempt at giving her a forced retirement. So clearly she's not down with the whole tea-party thing. Murkowski has promised to continue to caucus with the GOP, but she's also equivocated, telling interviewers that there is a "certain independence that comes from not being your party’s nominee." It might be kind of fun to see what that entails.

Murkowski is apparent winner in Alaska Senate race [First Read/MSNBC]
Murkowski emerges as winner in Alaska Senate race [AP via Yahoo]