Lawyer Joe Miller has not finished fighting his monthslong legal challenge over the Senate contest in Alaska, but he says he will not stand in the way this week when the state is expected to certify his opponent, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, as the victor in the closely watched race.
His decision all but assures that the incumbent will be sworn in Jan. 5 with the rest of the incoming Congress, even as Miller continues his campaign to have thousands of Murkowski write-in votes disqualified by the courts.
"After careful consideration and seeking the counsel of people whose opinion I respect and trust, I have decided that the federal case must go forward," he said in a statement late Sunday. "Nevertheless, I have also decided to withdraw our opposition to the certification of the election, ensuring that Alaska will have its full delegation seated when the 112th Congress convenes next month."
It is the latest sign that Miller is running out of options nearly two months after Murkowski made history by becoming the first candidate to win a write-in campaign for Senate in more than 50 years.
A tea party favorite, Miller had defeated Murkowski in the Republican primary. He went on to lose the general election after a series of campaign gaffes. He declined to concede, however, arguing in court that thousands of write-in votes should be thrown out under state law because of spelling and other errors. He successfully lobbied a federal judge to put a temporary hold on the election results as his case made its way through the courts.