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A Republican moderate who cast a vote to impeach former President Donald Trump during his second unprecedented trial has indicated what her plans are for next year’s midterms.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Friday formally announced she will seek reelection next year even though Trump has already thrown his support behind a primary challenger who also has the backing of the state Republican Party.
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a three-term Republican who voted to convict President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, announced her bid for re-election on Friday with a nod to bipartisanship.
“I will work with anyone from either party to advance Alaska’s priorities and I will always stand up to any politician or special interest that threatens our way of life,” she said in a video posted on her website.
Murkowski, a moderate, was one of seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict Trump of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot, in which his supporters attacked Congress in an effort to stop certification of the 2020 election. The Alaska Republican Party later censured Murkowski and pledged to recruit a challenger to oppose her.
“My heart is, and always has been, in Alaska, and that’s why I am proud to announce my campaign for reelection to the US Senate in 2022,” Murkowski said in a statement, noting further that she has always made Alaska, its industries, and its people her top priority.
“In this election, lower 48 outsiders are going to try to grab Alaska’s Senate seat for their partisan agendas,” Murkowski said in the campaign video released Friday. “They don’t understand our state and frankly, they couldn’t care less about your future.”
Before she voted to impeach, Murkowski laid the blame for the Capitol riot at the feet of Trump.
“The speech he gave on that day was intended to stoke passions in a crowd that the President had been rallying for months. They were prepared to march on the Capitol and he gave them explicit instructions to do so,” she said at the time.
“I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” she told the Anchorage Daily News in January.
For that reason, Trump has thrown his support behind primary challenger Kelly Tshibaka, a former state commissioner of administration, describing Murkowski, a three-term senator, “bad for Alaska.”
“Murkowski has got to go!” he noted in June.
“Kelly Tshibaka is the candidate who can beat Murkowski — and she will. Kelly is a fighter who stands for Alaska values and America First,” he continued.
Tshibaka thanked the Alaska Republican Party for its endorsement as well.
“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,” she said.
“We all share a unified goal: to promote the principles upon which our country and state were founded,” Tshibaka continued.
“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,” she added.
Tshibaka also blasted Murkowski for backing Obamacare and for needlessly attacking Trump.
“She picked a needless fight with Donald Trump. His policies were really good for Alaska. He opened up oil and gas jobs for us,” she told the Washington Examiner earlier this year.
“He reduced taxes for us. He supported our military. We have a strong military presence up here, and he rebuilt the military, and her impeachment vote made a lot of people angry in Alaska,” Tshibaka noted further.