Top GOP super PAC endorses Murkowski amid primary threat

A top Republican super PAC with ties to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) endorsed Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) reelection bid as she faces fallout from her vote to convict former President Trump in his impeachment trial earlier this year.

The Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) in its endorsement touted Murkowski’s “conservative values” and noted she supported Trump in many key votes, including efforts to confirm Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett as well as back the then-president’s tax cuts package.

“Alaska needs the kind of experienced representation that Lisa Murkowski provides in the United States Senate. Whether fighting for Alaskan interests like expanding energy production and protecting fisheries, or advancing conservative priorities by confirming judges and cutting taxes, her strong leadership is vitally important to Alaska’s future. Many politicians put themselves first, but Lisa Murkowski always puts Alaska first,” said SLF President Steven Law.

SLF’s endorsement indicates that Murkowski retains establishment support from the GOP while the party’s right flank vows to unseat her over her vote to convict Trump.

The Alaskan was one of seven GOP senators to vote for Trump’s conviction over allegations he incited the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill, though she is the only one of that group running for reelection next year. 

Trump himself has said he will campaign against Murkowski in 2022, and the Alaska GOP voted in March to censure their senior senator.

“I will not be endorsing, under any circumstances, the failed candidate from the great State of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski. She represents her state badly and her country even worse. I do not know where other people will be next year, but I know where I will be — in Alaska campaigning against a disloyal and very bad Senator,” Trump said in a statement to The Hill last month.

Murkowski has already drawn one GOP primary challenger in state Commissioner of Administration Kelly Tshibaka, who has cast the incumbent senator as a political insider who is out of touch with Alaskans.

“We know what Washington D.C. thinks about Alaska: We’re here for their benefit, and we won’t put up much of a fight. After nearly 20 years in D.C., Lisa Murkowski thinks the same way,” Tshibaka said in her announcement video last month. “But you know what? Nothing scares the D.C. political insiders more than the thought of a strong, independent Alaskan leader in their ranks. One they can’t bully. One they can’t control. One they can’t silence.”

Murkowski has overcome electoral hurdles in the past. She lost the 2010 Alaska GOP primary to a Tea Party candidate but later won the general election as a write-in candidate.

Tags Amy Coney Barrett Donald Trump Lisa Murkowski Mitch McConnell Neil Gorsuch Political positions of Lisa Murkowski United States Senate election in Alaska

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