By: Autumn Horton
Murkowski was appointed to the United State Senate in 2002 and elected to a full term in 2004. Her 2010 re-election grew turbulent when former magistrate judge Joe Miller defeated her in the Republican primary. Murkowski mounted a longshot write-in campaign, winning the general election; the campaign made national headlines. Murkowski is the only current Republican Senator from any West Coast state. Since winning re-election, her voting record has become more moderate when compared to her previous years in the Senate.