The Tea Party Express, fresh off wins in three Republican primaries, is targeting another GOP incumbent by backing attorney Joe Miller over Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
"Lisa Murkowski has become part of the problem in Washington. Her support for record deficit spending, and her flip-flopping on whether to repeal Obamacare, are just two of the many issues in which she has broken trust with the citizens she was elected to represent," Tea Party Express political director Bryan Shroyer said in a statement today.
The group promised to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars against Murkowski and for Miller before the Aug. 24 primary. The race will be the Tea Party Express' top priority, according to a release announcing the endorsement.
Miller, a little-known Fairbanks attorney, has run for office just once before, a losing bid for state representative in 2004. He has also been endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who remains popular in her home state, and he held a fundraiser in Wasilla with Palin's husband Todd earlier this year.
Murkowski is the second GOP incumbent the group has come out against, after opposing Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah. Last month, Bennett lost his bid for a fourth term when he finished third at the state GOP convention.
The Tea Party Express, which runs the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, also backed former GOP Assemblywoman Sharron Angle of Nevada, spending more than $500,000 on late ads as she cruised to a surprisingly big win in the Silver State's primary last week. They also endorsed Kentucky nominee Rand Paul and ex-Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, who faces no major opposition in the Aug. 24 primary after Gov. Charlie Crist bolted the party to become an independent.
The group is backing attorney Republican Mike Lee in his primary race for Bennett's seat.
attorney Republican Mike Lee in his primary race for Bennett's seat.
This article appears in the June 19, 2010 edition of National Journal Daily PM Update.