FAIRBANKS – The Alaska Republican Party on Saturday endorsed Kelly Tshibaka to replace incumbent U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski. The Alaska Republican State Central Committee in a 58-17 vote essentially abandoned the party’s support for the Senator in the upcoming 2022 campaign race, instead picking Tshibaka, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
“I am grateful and thrilled to have the strong support of the Alaska Republican Party, which voted overwhelmingly to endorse my candidacy for the U.S. Senate. We all share a unified goal: to promote the principles upon which our country and state were founded. I have pledged that I will be true to our shared, conservative Alaska ideals and be a senator upon whom they can depend to make every decision based on what is best for our great state,” Tshibaka said in a statement.
“We now move forward with a united front, determined to defend Alaska from the continued onslaught of the radical Biden administration. We need a senator who will stand with Alaskans and not cozy up to the Washington, D.C. insiders, a senator who has earned the trust of the people and strives to keep it every day. It is time for conservative leaders, with courage and common sense, to rise together across the nation. I am honored to be endorsed as that candidate for Alaska,” she added.
Murkowski, had earned the former president’s enmity after her vote to convict Trump for his role inciting the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U. S. Capitol. Murkowski was one of seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict the former president. The other GOP senators included Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Mitt Romney (Utah), Ben Sasse (Neb.) and Pat Toomey (Pa.)
“The facts make clear that the violence and desecration of the Capitol that we saw on January 6 was not a spontaneous uprising. President Trump had set the stage months before the 2020 election by stating repeatedly that the election was rigged, casting doubt into the minds of the American people about the fairness of the election,” Murkowski said in a statement released at the time of the Senate trial vote.
“After the election, when he lost by 7 million votes, he repeatedly claimed that the election was stolen and subjected to widespread fraud. At the same time, election challenges were filed in dozens of courts. Sixty-one different courts – including many judges nominated by President Trump himself – ruled against him,” she continued.
Trump had vowed that he would actively seek to rally the party base to remove lawmakers he saw as disloyal in both chambers of Congress as he has continued to falsely claim that the election results showed that he was the winner.
Speaking to Alaska Landmine Radio in an interview that aired Friday, Murkowski told host Jeff Landfield, “You know, he’s threatened to. He’s threatened to do a lot to those who have stood up to him, and sometimes there’s some carry-through, and sometimes maybe it’s just idle words or idle threats, but I can’t let that influence what I do and how I do it and who I do it for,” the Senator said.
“At the end of the day, I’m not doing this job because I want or need the title. I do it because Alaskans have given me their support and have asked me to do the best job that I can and the best of my ability and to stand up with an independent voice,” she added.
Trump had endorsed Tshibaka last month calling her “MAGA all the way,” and has publicly said he will come to Alaska to campaign for her.
The Human Rights Campaign, in its Congressional Scorecard has given Alaska’s senior Senator consistent favorable ratings for her support of same-sex marriage as well as other LGBTQ issues. During the first part of the 2021 legislative session, Murkowski was the sole Republican senator to vote against an amendment to the American Rescue Plan that would have stripped federal education funds from states, school districts and universities that allow transgender female athletes to participate in women’s athletics at schools.
She also supported the nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine, a trans woman and physician, to be the Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and was then one of two Republican Senators who voted to confirm Dr. Levine in a full Senate vote.
The Senator has not indicated if she will stand for reelection but now her party has endorsed a primary opponent who has a long anti-LGBTQ record.
CNN’s KFile, journalist Andrew Tshibaka reported this past April that Tshibaka once wrote in support of an “ex-gay” Christian organization that promoted discredited “conversion therapy” and said that homosexuality was caused by “sexual molestation during childhood.” She also wrote that gay people can “work through the process of coming out of homosexuality” through Christianity and urged gay people to “not be controlled by the ‘once-gay-always-gay’ rhetoric used to advance political agendas” in a 2001 Harvard Law School student newspaper article.
Lisa Murkowski primary challenger wrote in support of ‘ex-gay’ organization and posts on evils of ‘addictive’ witchcraft and ‘Twilight’ moviehttps://t.co/aYEbHma0w3
— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) April 27, 2021
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