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Ousted Republican Plans Write-In Campaign, Resigns GOP Leadership Position (Updated)

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Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski vows to keep fighting for her seat

UPDATE The AP reports: [U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski] told supporters — who greeted her at an Anchorage convention center with chants of "Run, Lisa, Run!" — that she couldn't walk away and ignore the pleas of Alaskans who urged her to offer them a choice between the "extremist" views of Miller, a self-described constitutional conservative and tea party favorite, and the "inexperience" of Democrat Scott McAdams, a small-town mayor.

"So I am here to tell you, you are disenfranchised no more," she said.

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Incumbent Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski may have conceded the Republican primary election to tea party favorite and Sarah Palin-backed Joe Miller, but she's not out of the race yet. Sources close to the Senator are now saying she plans to mount a write-in campaign in a last-ditch effort to hold onto her seat in the U.S. Senate.

A Republican source tells CNN that Sen. Murkowski has informed "a few" close colleagues on the hill that she will run as a write-in candidate. A separate source with knowledge of her decision also tells CNN she plans to announce her write-in candidacy Friday.

With Murkowski re-entering the race, what was considered a near-certain win for Republicans may be in jeopardy.  The announcement will reportedly happen at 6:00 p.m. local time in Anchorage (10:00 p.m. ET).

In an email to Murkowski supporters, Bonnie Jack, a campaign volunteer, asked supporters to "Join us at the Kick-off of Senator Lisa's campaign -- with a theme of 'write in her name and fill in the oval.'"

Regardless of Murkowski's decision and current position within the GOP leadership ranks on Capitol Hill, the National Republican Senatorial Committee remains committed to supporting Miller in the general election.

Murkowski was appointed to the Senate in 2002 by then-Gov. Frank Murkowski (her father) and was re-elected to a full term in 2004 with 48.6 percent of the vote.

Murkowski and Miller will face off against Democrat Scott McAdams in November 2 general election.

Update:

After announcing her plans to run as a write-in candidate, Sen. Lisa Murkowski resigned from the Senate GOP leadership after her fellow Republican senators withdrew their support from her campaign.

"Senate Republicans informed Lisa Murkowski that we will respect the will of the voters in Alaska and support the Republican nominee, Joe Miller," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement.

"Lisa has served her state and our party with distinction, but Republicans acknowledge the decision Alaskans made and join them in support of the Republican nominee, Joe Miller—the next senator for Alaska.”

Politico reports that Sen. Murkowski, who still has an estimated $1 million in her campaign war chest, is already hitting up Washington lobbyists for funds to aid her write-in efforts.

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