Murkowski wins reelection in Alaska Senate race

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Alaska Republican US Sen. Lisa Murkowski has won re-election by defeating Donald Trump-endorsed GOP opponent Kelly Tshibaka.

Murkowski defeated Tshibaka in the election held on 8 November. The results were announced on Wednesday, after election officials tabulated the results of the ranked choice after no candidate received more than 50% of the first choice vote. Murkowski wound up with 54% of the vote after ranked choice voting, after the majority of votes cast for Democrat Pat Chesbrough were removed.

“I am honored that Alaskans of all regions, backgrounds and party affiliations have once again trusted me to continue working with them and on their behalf in the US Senate,” Murkowski said in a statement. Important work ahead of us.

In a statement posted on his website, Tshibaka congratulated Murkowski but faulted the ranked choice voting.

“The new election system has been frustrating for many Alaskans, because it was unquestionably designed as an incumbent-protection program, and it clearly worked as intended,” she said.

The race also included Republican Buzz Kelly, who suspended his campaign after the August primary and endorsed Tshibaka.

Murkowski was the only Senate Republican who voted last year to convict Trump in his impeachment trial that was on the ballot this year. Trump was not indicted. But her vote was a sore point for the former president, who has vowed to campaign against her.

In 2020, well before that year’s election and long before Tshibaka jumped into the Senate race, Trump announced plans to campaign against Murkowski after she criticized him: “Make any candidate, good or bad , I don’t care, I’m supporting. If you have a pulse, I’m with you!

He appeared in Anchorage in July at a rally for Tshibaka and Sarah Palin, whom he endorsed for Alaska’s lone US House seat. He recently participated in a tele-rally for Tshibaka in late October. Tshibaka, who worked in the federal inspectors general’s offices before leading the Alaska Department of Administration for two years, credited Trump with increasing his name recognition and helping boost his candidacy.

Murkowski, who was censured last year by state Republican Party leaders for crimes including her impeachment vote, paid little attention to Trump during a campaign in which she emphasized her willingness to work across party lines and touted her record and seniority. focused on. Murkowski, a moderate in the Senate since 2002 following the death of Republican Representative Don Young in March, is the most senior member of Alaska’s congressional delegation, having held Alaska’s House seat for 49 years.

Murkowski is no stranger to tough re-elections. He won a general election write-in campaign in 2010 after losing his party’s primary that year to a Tea Party Republican. After entering the race, he had never won a general election with more than 50% of the vote.

This year’s elections were held under a new system approved by voters in 2020, replacing party primaries with open primaries and establishing voting in general elections. Under the open primary system, the top four vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the general election. In his post-election statement, Tshibaka said, “Our Alaska US Senate election proved to be another victory for Washington, DC insiders who rarely have our best interests at heart.”

Tshibaka criticized a super PAC aligned with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell for running ads against him when he said those resources could have been used to help Republicans in other states.

She said she placed “in the red,” or Republican candidates on her ballot—but not in the Senate race. She said that she does not consider Murkowski to be a “red” candidate.

Murkowski said on election day, “I didn’t vote for him.”


Associated Press writer Mark Thiessen in Anchorage, Alaska contributed to this report.

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