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Tipsheet

Could Lisa Murkowski Be in Trouble After Primary Challenger Receives Latest Major Endorsement?

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

There's been another development in the primary battle between Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Kelly Tshibaka, who was the Alaska Department of Administration commissioner until she resigned to run for the senate. On Saturday, Tshibaka won the endorsement of the Alaska Republican Party, and she won it handily.

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Suzanne Downey with Must Read Alaska broke down the numbers. Tshibaka won the endorsement with a margin of 58-17, at over 77 percent of those voting. As Downey also pointed out, 77 percent of the state party had also voted to censure Murkowski over her voting to convict Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. The former president, at that point, had already been out of office.

As Downey also reported:

“I am grateful and thrilled to have the strong support of the Alaska Republican Party, which voted overwhelmingly to endorse my candidacy for the U.S. Senate,” she said. “We all share a unified goal: to promote the principles upon which our country and state were founded. 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.”

Over the past several weeks leading up to the Republicans’ quarterly meeting, several Republican districts voted to endorse Tshibaka, and earlier this month she was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

“We now move forward with a united front, determined to defend Alaska from the continued onslaught of the radical Biden administration. We need a senator who will stand with Alaskans and not cozy up to the Washington, D.C. insiders, a senator who has earned the trust of the people and strives to keep it every day. It is time for conservative leaders, with courage and common sense, to rise together across the nation. I am honored to be endorsed as that candidate for Alaska,”  Tshibaka said.

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The Alaska race could shape up to be quite the memorable one. Tshibaka has scored notable victories, with endorsements from the state party, Trump, and multiple Alaska districts.

While Trump formally endorsed Tshibaka last month, it was not unexpected, considering how he had long been at odds with Sen. Murkowski. 

Further, Tshibaka's fundraising abilities and straw poll results are impressive.

Murkowski has the legacy of her name going for her, though. Her father, Frank Murkowski who preceded her in the senate, appointed her as his replacement in 2002. Although she lost the Republican primary in 2010, she nevertheless won the general election through a write-in campaign.

Alaska will also have a nonpartisan jungle primary for the 2022 race and the general election will use rank choice voting, which some believe could benefit Murkowski in the race.

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