FAIRBANKS, Alaska (CN) – Joe Miller refuses to admit that Lisa Murkowski defeated him in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race. Miller, a Republican tea party darling, sued the Division of Elections in state court, claiming the state unfairly counted Murkowski’s write-in votes by voter intent, rather than demanding accurate spelling.
Miller sued after a federal judge in Juneau on Friday refused to intervene immediately, calling it a state, not a federal, argument. But U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline said he would grant a temporary injunction to stop the certification of the election if Miller sued in state court by Monday.
Murkowski, who ran as a write-in candidate after losing to Miller in the Republican primary, defeated Miller by about 10,000 votes in the Nov. 2 election.
Miller challenged 8,153 of her ballots for spelling, legibility or “extra words,” according to The Associated Press.
It was the first time a write-in candidate won a U.S. Senate race since Strom Thurmond, running as a racist, did so in South Carolina in 1954.