Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski and fellow Trump-endorsed Republican, Kelly Tshibaka, qualified for the general election as of Tuesday’s primary, according to preliminary results.
While the votes are still being counted, the two GOP candidates have clearly won two of the spots in the race which will see only the top four voters from a total of 19 candidates in Alaska’s open primaries advance to the November elections.
Murkowski leads Tshibaka with 42.7% of the vote against 41.4% for the former commissioner of the Alaska Department of Administration, according to the latest results from The Associated Press.
The other two slots have yet to be decided, but for now it looks like Democrat Patricia Chesbro has the second most votes, with 6.2 percent.
This is the first time the state has implemented the voter-approved, nonpartisan, single-choice primary election system in the 2020 general election.
This new system likely favored Murkowski, a moderate Republican who voted to convict former President Donald Trump during his impeachment trial and who has frustrated conservative Republicans for years.
In a traditional GOP primary, Murkowski could have been defeated by Trump’s pick Tshibaka, like Liz Cheney’s loss to Trump revenge candidate Harriet Hageman in Wyoming.
The general elections in November will be held by preferential ballot.
This is breaking news and will be updated later.