Murkowski Launches Reelection Bid In Face Of Trump’s Wrath

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) walks to the Senate Chambers for a vote at the U.S. Capitol Building on October 21, 2021. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
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November 12, 2021 10:00 a.m.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) announced on Friday morning that she’s running for reelection in the 2022 midterms as her party’s leader goes on a warpath to oust every pro-impeachment Republican lawmaker from Congress.

In her announcement video, Murkowski paints herself as a moderate who can work with Democrats and Republicans alike and calls herself an “independent voice.”

“My heart is, and always has been, in Alaska, and that’s why I am proud to announce my campaign for reelection to the US Senate in 2022,” the GOP senator said in a separate statement. “I pledged to be Alaska, always. I’m still committed to those values and meeting the challenges Alaskans face today.”

Murkowski has stood out in recent years as one of the GOP’s few critics of Donald Trump, especially after voting to convict the then-president in his second impeachment trial for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Trump punched back by endorsing Murkowski’s primary challenger, Kelly Tshibaka, though he had sworn revenge against the Alaska senator even before the trial for criticizing him.

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The Alaska GOP also punished the senator by censuring her and endorsing her primary challenger.

However, Murkowski has long been at odds with her own party, dating back to 2010, when she lost to a primary challenger, Joe Miller, and then defeated him in the general election — as a write-in candidate.

Murkowski also refused to endorse Trump in 2016 even though she was the Alaska GOP’s Senate candidate that year. In contrast, Miller (who was running against Murkowski again but as a Libertarian candidate) endorsed the would-be president.

But regardless of Trump’s fury toward Murkowski, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is backing the senator.

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