In Slight to Lisa Murkowski, Alaska GOP Endorses Challenger Kelly Tshibaka

The Alaska Republican State Central announced on Saturday their endorsement of Kelly Tshibaka for the U.S. Senate race for 2022. The seat is currently held by Lisa Murkowski (R).

Tshibaka proudly shared the endorsement on her Twitter account, “I am honored to be Endorsed by the Alaska Republican Party! In the Senate, I will always fight for our Conservative values.”

Murkowski has held the seat since 2002, however, she has yet to file for re-election in 2022, leading some to speculate she is looking at retirement.

Murkowski was censured by the Alaska GOP earlier this year after her vote to convict former President Trump. We reported in part, “Murkowski was censured by Alaskan Republicans for voting to convict former President Trump. Tuckerman Babcock, former chair of the Alaska Republican Party is quoted as saying, “The party does not want Lisa Murkowski to be a Republican candidate. It went further than censure, which was strong. But it also directed the party officials to recruit an opponent in the election and to the extent legally permissible, prevent Lisa Murkowski from running as a Republican in any election.

Former President Trump vowed last year to campaign against Murkowski after her vote against repealing the affordable care act and her vote against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Murkowski had stated she was ‘struggling’ with whether or not to vote for Trump in November of 2020 also stating, “When I saw Gen. Mattis’s comments yesterday I felt like perhaps we’re getting to the point where we can be more honest with the concerns we might hold internally and have the courage of our convictions to speak up”. Mattis was very critical of Trump and accused of him dividing the nation.

Trump endorsed Tshibaka last month calling her, “MAGA all the way” adding he “looks forward to campaigning in Alaska for Kelly Tshibaka”.

It remains to be seen if Murkowski will bow out with retirement or try to fight to hold on to her Senate seat. With Tshibaka running against her we will see if she is up for that challenge.