Campaign

Murkowski says she may lose to ‘rubber-stamp Republican’

Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) said in a new interview it is possible she loses her reelection bid to a “rubber-stamp Republican.”

“I may be the last man standing. I may not be re-elected,” the senator told The New York Times. “It may be that Alaskans say, ‘Nope, we want to go with an absolute, down-the-line, always, always, 100-percent, never-question, rubber-stamp Republican.’

“And if they say that that’s the way that Alaska has gone — kind of the same direction that so many other parts of the country have gone — I have to accept that,” she added. “But I’m going to give them the option.”

Murkowski, who represents a historically independent state, has been known to split with Republicans on important votes, most recently including her vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the bench. 

She has relied on her bipartisanship and willingness to break from the Republican Party as an asset, the Times noted, but her vote to impeach former President Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot sparked pushback from his supporters. 

In response, Trump has put his endorsement and support behind a challenger to Murkowski, former Alaska Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka.

Kelly Tshibaka is the candidate who can beat Murkowski — and she will,” Trump wrote last year. “Murkowski has got to go!” 

Murkowski, meanwhile, has received support from more establishment Republicans, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“You’ve got to demonstrate that there are other possibilities, that there is a different reality — and maybe it won’t work,” Murkowski told the Times. “Maybe I am just completely politically naïve, and this ship has sailed. But I won’t know unless we — unless I — stay out there and give Alaskans the opportunity to weigh in.”

In her first quarter in 2022, Murkowski raised $1.5 million, leaving her with $5.2 million in cash on hand.

Tags Alaska Donald Trump Kelly Tshibaka Kelly Tshibaka Lisa Murkowski Lisa Murkowski Mitch McConnell moderate Republican Trump Trumpism

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