Alaska GOP Breaks From Murkowski After Trump Vowed Vengeance

UNITED STATES - JUNE 17: Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is seen in the senate subway during a vote in the Capitol on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 17: Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is seen in the senate subway during a vote in the Capitol on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The Alaska Republican Party on Saturday endorsed a challenger to incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a fierce critic of former President Trump who voted to convict him during his second impeachment trial for “incitement of insurrection” earlier this year.

The Alaska Republican State Central Committee approved the endorsement of former state commissioner Kelly Tshibaka ahead of next year’s midterm elections in a 58-17 vote, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

In a statement, Tshibaka expressed gratitude for having the “strong support” of the Alaska GOP that voted overwhelmingly to endorse” her.

“I have pledged that I will be true to our shared, conservative Alaska ideals and be a senator upon whom they can depend to make every decision based on what is best for our great state,” Tshibaka said.

Tshibaka announced her bid for Murkowski’s Senate seat in March, and has been endorsed by Trump.

Murkowski, who has been in office since 2002, has come under fire from Trump and his allies after being one of the seven Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for helping incite the deadly Capitol insurrection. Murkowski also repeatedly condemned Trump’s bogus claims of widespread election fraud. The former president announced in March that he planned to travel to Alaska and campaign against Murkowski ahead of next year’s midterm elections.

Murkowski was among several senators who were censured in their home states in the aftermath of voting to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial earlier this year. Last March, the Republican State Central Committee voted 53-17 to censure Murkowski.

Murkowski has yet to formally launch a re-election campaign. but told the Daily News in a statement following the Alaska GOP’s vote that she has “fought for Alaskan values in the U.S. Senate and will continue to do so.”

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