ABC News’ Huma Khan reports: Sen. Lisa Murkowski released an ad touting an endorsement from the late Sen. Ted Stevens, two months after the longest serving GOP senator died in a plane crash in Alaska.
The ad could provide a critical boost to Murkowski as she struggles for her political life. The incumbent senator is running as a write-in candidate against Republican candidate and Tea Party favorite Joe Miller, who has Sarah Palin’s backing. Stevens enjoyed widespread support in Alaska, even after he lost his re-election bid in 2009 amid charges of corruption and ethics violations.
The ad opens with Stevens’ daughter, Sue Covich, pointing out her father’s endorsement.
“What some Alaskans don’t know is that my father made a campaign commercial for Lisa that was scheduled to run just days after we lost him,” Covich said.
Murkowski didn’t air the ad before out of respect for the late senator, Covich added.
“I trust Lisa and her commitment to keep fighting for us. She’s working for Alaska every single day. We need Lisa and the seniority she’s earned now more than ever,” Stevens said.
The endorsement was taped July 30, days before Stevens died in a plane crash.
The latest polls show Murkowski virtually tied with Miller, with Democratic contender Scott McAdams trailing closely behind.
Miller, who rode to victory on the back of Tea Party support, is embroiled in his own controversy about whether he used public funds to oust Republican party chairman Randy Ruedrich when he was an attorney at Fairbanks North Star Borough. Miller also released an ad this week – inspired by the Old Spice commercials – bashing Murkowski and highlighting her loss in the primary.
Sitka mayor McAdams has released his own set of ads touting his Alaskan roots and separating himself from Washington insiders like Murkowski.