Republican senators opted not to oust Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiSenators seek state revenue sharing for offshore drilling Senate panel approves 0M for international climate fund GOP senator praises Supreme Court's abortion ruling MORE from a top committee post because they believe she has a shot at winning reelection, Murkowski said.
Murkowski, a GOP senator from Alaska who decided to pursue an independent write-in bid for reelection after losing her Republican Senate primary, said that her colleagues' decision to allow her to keep her position as ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee was an "affirmation."
Murkowski's now in a three-way race for reelection, facing off against Republican Joe Miller and Democrat Scott McAdams. She faces an uphill climb, though, because she failed to file in time for an independent bid, forcing her to wage a difficult write-in candidacy.
Murkowski's decision did lead Republicans to strip her of her leadership post as vice chairwoman of the Senate Republican Conferece, a spot filled this week by Sen. John BarrassoJohn BarrassoGOP senator: Obama ‘believes he is above the law’ Republican senator expects Trump will 'embrace' GOP platform Sunday shows preview: Bernie soldiers on MORE (Wyo.). Republican leaders have also rallied behind Miller, the party's nominee.
Republicans' decision to keep her in the ranking-member position, Murkowski said, was a recognition of her standing in the conference.
"This was an affirmation of the relationship that I've built over the past eight years with the people that I work with," she said. "As difficult as the politics are, as awkward as the situation is, I had really believed that my friends would recognize that what I'm doing is for my state."