Alaska’s Joe Miller Eyes 2014 Senate Bid

Joe Miller, who narrowly lost a Tea Party-backed challenge to Alaska’s Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski four years ago, is preparing a possible 2014 campaign against Democrat Sen. Mark Begich. In an announcement on his Restoring Liberty site, Miller named three recently-elected senators popular with Tea Party activists as examples.

“We need a candidate in 2014 who will join reformers like Rand Paul, Mike Lee,  and Ted Cruz to confront President Obama, not one who will cut a deal to  negotiate the terms of our surrender to his radical socialist agenda,” Miller wrote in an article entitled, “Why  I Am Considering a 2014 US Senate Run.”

In 2010, with endorsements by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and other conservatives, Miller defeated Murkowski in the GOP primary. Murkowski then mounted an unprecedented write-in campaign and, in a three-way election in which Democrat Scott McAdams got only 23 percent, Murkowski edged Miller by less than 10,000 votes.

Alaska’s Republican Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell has also former an exploratory committee for the 2014 Senate campaign. A Treadwell-Miller battle for the GOP nomination could become another showdown between establishment Republicans and the conservative Tea Party grassroots.

Begich is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats facing re-election in 2014. Alaska is strongly Republican, and voted for Mitt Romney by a 14-point margin in 2012. Begich was elected to the Senate in 2008 to replace Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, who had just been convicted in a corruption trial.