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Murkowski to ANB: They’ll never underestimate you again

Sen. Lisa Murkowski addresses the 100th Anniversary ANB/ANS Grand Camp convention in Sitka. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski credited the Native vote for returning her to office in 2010, during an address to the 100th Anniversary Grand Camp Convention of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood in Sitka on Thursday (10-4-12).

Murkowski was blindsided in the Republican primary that year by Joe Miller, who was a Tea Party-financed political unknown at the time. Murkowski later won the general election as a write-in candidate – the first US senator to do so in over fifty years.

Listen to iFriendly audio.

Now people like to tell me that I made history in 2010. But you know and I know that’s far from the truth. What happened is that the people of Alaska – it was the Alaska Native people – who made history, when they took that difficult step, wrote in the name (figured out how to spell it), and did so in a way that silenced all the critics, not just in the state but around the country and around the world. They did not think Alaskans were capable of doing this. And I’ll tell you that the one voting bloc that was completely underestimated was that of the Alaska Natives. It was assumed that you’d get that voter turnout, it was assumed that it would not be in significant numbers, it was assumed that it would not be in a unified and a strengthened voice. The Alaska Native vote was completely underestimated in 2010. My friends, it will never be underestimated again.

Convention delegates thanked Murkowski for her service, and presented her with a scarf printed with a limited-edition design by Sitka artist Tommy Joseph.

US Sen. Mark Begich is scheduled to be the guest speaker at a dinner following the convention on Saturday.

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