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Mitch McConnell-aligned super PAC backs Lisa Murkowski, staging clash with pro-Trump candidate

Trump plans to campaign against Murkowski after he votes to convict him in his second impeachment trial. But Murkowski, a moderate Republican on issues like abortion, has already pushed back candidates from the right and now enjoys the backing of the group that spent more than $ 476 million in the last election cycle – an incredible sum on races. in the Senate.

“Alaska needs the kind of experienced representation Lisa Murkowski provides in the United States Senate,” SLF President Steven Law said. “Whether it’s fighting for Alaska’s interests like expanding energy production and protecting the fisheries, or advancing Conservative priorities by upholding judges and lowering taxes, his strong leadership is vitally important to Alaska’s future. “

The Alaska race is becoming the first flashpoint between McConnell and Trump on the future of the Senate and the Republican Party. Trump has already endorsed a handful of serving senators, including Marco Rubio of Florida and Jerry Moran of Kansas.

But after Murkowski voted to convict Trump in the second insurgency incitement impeachment trial on Capitol Hill, the former president vowed to campaign against her.

“She misrepresents her state and her country even worse,” Trump said in March. “I don’t know where the others will be next year, but I know where I will be – in Alaska, campaigning against a disloyal and very bad senator.”

Tshibaka, a former Alaska Administration Department commissioner, launched her campaign in the Senate last month, portraying her campaign as an outsider attacking a longtime powerful insider.

“It’s just like DC insiders ignoring the voices of Alaska voters to protect one of their own,” Tzhibaka campaign adviser Mary Ann Pruitt said in response to the announcement of the approval. of the SLF.

Murkowski and his family have long served the state. Her father, former Governor Frank Murkowski, appointed her to her former Senate seat in 2002, and she won the post in 2004 and 2010, when she lost the GOP primary to the Tea candidate. Joe Miller Party. She went on to run a rarely successful written campaign, winning re-election in 2016 by 15 points.

Murkowski was one of the few swing votes at the GOP Senate conference. She voted for the Trump administration’s 2017 tax review bill, which included a provision to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling in her home state. But she opposed the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation over his sexual assault allegations, which he vigorously denied. The senator did not vote for Trump in 2020 and told The Hill that she wrote to someone else who lost.

These votes earned him praise from the community. And in 2022, Murkowski could benefit from a new system in which candidates run together in a non-partisan primary, and the top four will advance to the general election, in which voters rank their preferences.

But these votes also earned him the contempt of some on the right. The Alaska Republican Party censored her in a resolution after her impeachment vote, and said it would “recruit” a Republican challenger. The Alaska GOP Later tweeted a line from a Fox News article announcing Tshibaka’s offer.

Tshibaka will try to exploit an inspired Trump backlash against the senator, hiring National Public Affairs, a political consulting firm run by Trump’s top strategists for 2020, and Tim Murtaugh of Line Drive Public Affairs, former director of communications for the Trump campaign. Alaskan operator Mary Ann Pruitt, who worked on the Murkowski 2016 campaign, also advises Tshibaka’s candidacy.

In his video, Tshibaka called Murkowski “so disconnected” for having voted “to remove Donald Trump from office, even after his departure”. Trump won Alaska by 10 points in 2020.

Tshibaka’s candidacy so far presents the clearest distinction between the McConnell and Trump orbits. Alabama Representative Mo Brooks also received Trump’s approval for the Senate after leading the charge to contest the 2020 election, which could cause heartburn for the GOP’s business wing, but neither the SLF nor McConnell supported any candidate in the state.

Prior to joining the administration of Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy, Tshibaka worked in the offices of the Inspector General of the US Postal Service, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Justice. Tshibaka admitted that she worked in Washington, DC but “fought to expose waste and fraud in government,” seeking to contrast Murkowski’s extensive experience on Capitol Hill.

Murkowski filed a nomination paper with the Federal Election Commission on March 9, but has not officially announced his candidacy for re-election and has been somewhat timid about his intentions for 2022.

But Kevin Sweeney, a political consultant for the Murkowski campaign, praised the support of the SLF, saying they “hope to build a broad coalition of support when we officially launch the campaign.”

The senator has retained the support of other high-profile Republicans besides Trump, including McConnell, who has said he will “absolutely” support Murkowski. Republican Senator from Alaska, Dan Sullivan, also said he would also support Murkowski, “if” she ran again.

“A lot of politicians are putting themselves first, but Lisa Murkowski always puts Alaska first,” Law said Friday.

This story was updated with additional developments on Friday.


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