The Washington Post

Joe Miller may challenge Sen. Mark Begich

Joe Miller after winning the 2010 Senate primary. (AP Photo) Joe Miller after winning the 2010 Senate primary. (AP Photo)

Alaska's Joe Miller, who nearly made it to the Senate in 2010 with support from tea party activists and Sarah Palin, is moving toward another bid.

In a blog post on his Web site Sunday, Miller announced that he was forming an exploratory committee to challenge Sen. Mark Begich (D).

In his announcement Miller promises to take on both parties. 

"The choice before Alaskans in 2014 will be stark. Voters must choose between the easy lies of an insider politician or the hard truth of a reformer," he said. "As of the writing of this article, I am unaware of another potential candidate who has demonstrated a willingness to challenge the status quo, and confront the culture of corruption that reaches to the highest levels of American government."

Before launching a full-fledged campaign, he said, he needs to make sure that he will be able to secure the necessary political and financial support.

Miller defeated Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the 2010 Republican primary, but Murkowski beat him in the general election with a write-in campaign. He unsuccessfully challenged that result in court, alleging widespread fraud.

Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell (R) has also formed an exploratory committee for the race, meaning we could see another establishment vs. outside primary like the one in 2010.

Should he win the primary, polling suggests Miller would be a weak candidate -- a recent survey from the automated Public Policy Polling finds Begich leading him 58 to 30 percent.  In the same poll Begich leads Treadwell 47 to 39 percent.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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