Thursday, August 26, 2010
Fishing industry put its money behind Murkowski
Less than 1,700 votes separates her and challenger Joe Miller as election officials prepare to count absentee ballots from Tuesday's Republican primary. That'll take some days.
Murkowski says she's not about to concede to the conservative Fairbanks lawyer, who rode Tea Party power to his surprising lead.
Murkowski has been in the Senate since 2002.
The fishing industry was firmly behind her re-election, based on my cursory review of campaign finance disclosures on file with the Federal Election Commission.
The list of donors is a who's who of the industry, with $500 checks coming from executives of such firms as American Seafoods, Icicle Seafoods, Trident Seafoods, Glacier Seafoods, Alaskan Leader Fisheries, Fishermen's Finest, Alyeska Seafoods, UniSea, Ocean Beauty Seafoods and Alaska General Seafoods.
I also saw some top Bering Sea crabbers on the donor list, and leaders of such trade organizations as the the Pacific Seafood Processors Association, the At-sea Processors Association and the Groundfish Forum.
Two of the state's top organizations representing commercial fishermen and ports, United Fishermen of Alaska and the Marine Conservation Alliance, endorsed Murkowski.
She's been regarded as an emerging leader on fisheries policy since Ted Stevens lost his Senate seat in 2008. One of Murkowski's aides is Arne Fuglvog, a former Petersburg commercial fisherman who last year was in the running to become the Obama administration's pick to head the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Now it appears both Murkowski and Fuglvog might have plenty of time for some fishing.