Alaska GOP leaders endorse challenger to US Sen. Murkowski

A woman speaking at a podium
Senator Lisa Murkowski at the August 26, 2020, opening ceremony for the Operation Lady Justice Task Force Cold Case Office in Anchorage, Alaska. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

The leaders of Alaska’s Republican Party on Saturday endorsed a challenger to incumbent U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who has been one of the GOP’s most outspoken critics of former President Donald Trump, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The Alaska Republican State Central Committee endorsed Kelly Tshibaka in the 2022 race for the U.S. Senate seat held by Murkowski. The committee approved Tshibaka’s endorsement in a 58-17 vote during a meeting in Fairbanks, the newspaper reported.

In a statement, Tshibaka said she will uphold conservative ideals and be a senator who Alaskans “can depend to make every decision based on what is best for our great state.”

Tshibaka, who ran the Alaska Department of Administration, announced March 29 that she would run for the Senate seat held by Murkowski, who has been in office since 2002.

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On March 13, the Republican State Central Committee voted 53-17 to censure Murkowski, citing her vote to impeach Trump and other votes that have broken with GOP leadership. Alaska Republican Party leaders said at the time that they would recruit someone to run against her.

Trump has endorsed Tshibaka. “Lisa Murkowski is bad for Alaska,” Trump said in a statement last month. “Murkowski has got to go!”

Murkowski said in a statement to the Daily News that she has fought for Alaskan values in the U.S. Senate and will continue to do so.

“Alaskan voters will decide who represents them in DC, and I work every day to earn their support,” Murkowski said.

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