Facing down Trump, Murkowski hits gas on reelection

November 15, 2021

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is taking on former President Donald Trump and a restive GOP base—again, reports Politico.

The moderate Republican, who soon will mark her 20th anniversary in the U.S. Senate, announced on Friday morning, November 12, that she will run for reelection next year—leaning into a fight with Trump over her future in the Senate.

Murkowski was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump of inciting the January 6 Capitol insurrection and has not shied away from questioning his place in the party. Of those seven legislators, she is the only one running for reelection in 2022.

With a grudge against Murkowski, Trump has backed former Alaska Commissioner of Administration Kelly Tshibaka over the incumbent, making it the most perilous GOP primary for an officeholder next year.

Murkowski did not mention Trump in her announcement even as he hangs over every single GOP primary in the nation.

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

And ousting Murkowski won’t be easy: As of October, the incumbent had $3 million on hand compared to about $300,000 for Tshibaka. Murkowski has the support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. In a recent interview, McConnell said the NRSC, the Senate Leadership Fund and GOP senators are “all in for Lisa.”

Augmenting her bipartisan appeal, Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) endorsed her during a rare joint interview earlier this year. “People understand that they have a person that understands Alaska and has Alaska in her blood and in every part of her veins and every morsel of her body,” Manchin said in April.

Research contact: @politico