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Anti-Trump Senator Murkowski Dealt Major Blow To Her Re-Election Chances

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Being an enemy of Donald Trump is not a comfortable position to be in heading into a Republican primary, as one anti-Trump GOP senator is learning.

Alaska commissioner of administration Kelly Tshibaka, who is facing off against incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, has just received a major endorsement.

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Tshibaka received the endorsement of Maggie’s List, a group that’s dedicated to electing conservative women.

Murkowski, a moderate Republican with a history of working across the aisle to achieve bipartisan agreements, was one of seven GOP lawmakers in the Senate to join all 50 Democrats in voting to convict former President Trump in his February impeachment trial on charges of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Trump was acquitted when the Senate vote fell 10 short of the two-thirds needed to convict. Murkowski is the only one of those seven Republicans running for reelection in next year’s midterms. 

Trump vowed to come to Alaska to campaign against the senator. Earlier this year he endorsed Tshibaka, and a couple of leading members of Trump’s 2020 presidential reelection inner circle are working as senior advisers on Tshibaka’s team.

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While targeted by Trump and the Alaska GOP, Murkowski has the support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the reelection arm of the Senate GOP, which has long backed Republican incumbents running for reelection. And longtime Senate GOP leader Sen. Mitch McConnell and his political team have pledged to support Murkowski as she runs for reelection. The McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund, the top outside super PAC backing Senate Republicans, endorsed Murkowski earlier this year.

“Conservative candidates have an important mission in the 2022 elections – to regain control of both houses of Congress and we at Maggie’s List believe that our endorsed candidates present the best opportunity to win their respective elections in November,” Maggie’s List national spokesperson and former Florida lieutenant governor Jennifer Carroll said.

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Maggie’s List is “proud to endorse these three candidates who have already demonstrated their commitment to conservative values and serving our nation,” she said.

Trump gave Tshibaka his endorsement in June against Sen. Murkowski, who voted for his impeachment.

“Lisa Murkowski is bad for Alaska. Her vote to confirm Biden’s Interior Secretary was a vote to kill long sought for, and approved ANWR, and Alaska jobs. Murkowski has got to go! Kelly Tshibaka is the candidate who can beat Murkowski—and she will. Kelly is a fighter who stands for Alaska values and America First.  She is MAGA all the way, pro-energy, strong on the Border, tough on Crime and totally supports our Military and our great Vets. Kelly is a powerful supporter of the Second Amendment and JOBS! I look forward to campaigning in Alaska for Kelly Tshibaka. She has my Complete and Total Endorsement!” he said in an email to his supporters via his Save America PAC.

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Murkowski was one of seven Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in impeachment trial number two and was a consistent thorn in his side.

“For months, the President has perpetuated false rhetoric that the election was stolen and rigged, even after dozens of courts ruled against these claims,” she said before the trial got underway. “When he was not able to persuade the courts or elected officials, he launched a pressure campaign against his own Vice President, urging him to take actions that he had no authority to do.”

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“Such unlawful actions cannot go without consequence and the House has responded swiftly, and I believe, appropriately, with impeachment,” Murkowski said.

Another name that was talked about in terms of challenging Sen. Murkowski was former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who hinted that she would consider it.

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