The Alaska Republican State Central Committee recently voted 58-17 in favor of endorsing Trump-backed Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka for election in the 2022 contest for the slot currently held by long-serving incumbent GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
"I am honored to be Endorsed by the Alaska Republican Party! In the Senate, I will always fight for our Conservative values," tweeted Tshibaka, who previously served as the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Administration for just over two years before she resigned to run for the U.S. Senate.
Former President Donald Trump, who has been an outspoken critic of Sen. Murkowski, slammed the sitting U.S. lawmaker when he issued a full-throated endorsement of Tshibaka last month.
"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!" Trump said in the statement.
Murkowski was one of seven Republican lawmakers who voted to convict Trump earlier this year after the House voted to impeach Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach. While the House vote occurred during the waning days of Trump's tenure, the Senate vote occurred after Trump had already departed from office and the former president was ultimately acquitted since an insufficient number of senators voted to convict.
Murkowski was appointed to serve in the U.S. Senate in 2002, and has since won elections in 2004, 2010 and 2016.
Murkowksi, 64, has not yet filed for re-election, a spokesperson for the sitting U.S. senator said, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
The outlet reported that Alaskan voters could potentially end up with more than one candidate from the same party included on the state's 2022 general election ballot.
"One complicating factor in the 2022 election is Alaska's new ranked-choice voting system, poised for implementation under a voter-approved initiative that is being challenged in court. Under the new system, which would end party primaries in Alaska, the top four vote-getters in an open primary advance to the November general election regardless of party affiliation. That opens up the possibility of having multiple candidates from the same party on the general election ballot," the outlet noted.