More newspapers endorse Lisa

On Sunday, the Fairbanks News-Miner endorsed Lisa Murkowski, adding its voice to a growing list of Alaska newspapers that found Lisa to be the hands-down best candidate for U.S. Senate.

Newspapers that support Lisa include the Anchorage Daily News, the Juneau Empire, Ketchikan Daily News, Peninsula Clarion, Homer News and Alaska Newspapers, which owns six weekly newspapers.

Here is what the News-Miner said:

The Republican choice: Murkowski’s views, seniority and manner give her the edge

Alaska has never given a write-in candidate victory in a statewide contest, but Sen. Lisa Murkowski has a good chance of pulling it off on Tuesday.

Murkowski’s views and demeanor appeal to a broad cross-section of Alaskans. She’s a congenial conservative, and that’s what Alaska needs in the nation’s capital.

Murkowski also has a remarkable amount of seniority, given her relative youth and mere eight years in Washington. This fact hasn’t received enough attention.

The seniority system, which apportions committee positions in the Senate, has its drawbacks, but it exists. Alaskans shouldn’t ignore the implications for our state and the opportunities it gives a young senator.

Sen. Murkowski already is the senior Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Even as a Republican in a Democratic Senate, this top position can be useful when protecting Alaska’s interests. The so-called “ranking” member picks key committee staff for the minority and is often involved in negotiations with the majority concerning which bills the committee moves.

If control of the Senate switches parties, though, Murkowski would be in line to lead the committee. In that situation, she is in a position to promote major legislation benefiting Alaska and to stop any bill that doesn’t.

Murkowski also has a seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Again, through the luck of circumstance, Murkowski is in line to become the senior Republican member of the Appropriations subcommittee that writes the Department of the Interior budget. That’s the department that manages almost two-thirds of Alaska’s land mass. The department needs money not only to manage this land but also to complete the long-delayed transfer of millions of acres due the state of Alaska and its Native corporations. Again, if Senate control flips, Murkowski could lead the subcommittee.

Alaskans won’t see Sen. Murkowski’s name on the ballot Tuesday, though. She lost the primary nomination and so is asking Alaskans to write in her name.

This newspaper endorsed Murkowski, the Republican incumbent senator, in the primary election. Nothing has changed since then. She remains Alaska’s best choice. Please write in “Lisa Murkowski” on Tuesday.

And remember to also fill in the oval.