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Posted at 6:31 PM ET, 12/31/2010

Joe Miller bows out in Alaska

By Aaron Blake

Alaska GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller announced Friday that he will not push forward with a legal challenge to Sen. Lisa Murkowski's reelection win, bringing an end to the last unresolved Senate race in the country.

"The time has come to accept the practical realities of the current legal circumstances," Miller said at a news conference, announcing that he will end the effort.

Murkowski (R) was certified as the winner of the race Thursday, after the state Supreme Court ruled against Miller's legal challenges. She became the first candidate since 1954 to win a Senate seat through a write-in campaign -- and only the second in history.

Murkowski was forced to run the write-in campaign after she lost the August GOP primary to Miller, who ran as a tea party candidate and criticized Murkowski's centrist record. In the general election, she beat him by more than 10,000 votes, or about 4 percent of the vote.

That large deficit meant that, from the start of his legal fight, Miller faced long odds.

In his concession speech, Miller fought back against the criticism he received for pursuing his lawsuit.

"I accept that criticism knowing often doing what is right is not what is easy or popular," Miller said. "We were not successful in that endeavor, but it was a worthwhile one."

By Aaron Blake  | December 31, 2010; 6:31 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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