The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC run by allies of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, endorsed Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for re-election on Friday, Axios reports.
An internal poll commissioned by Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R) primary opponent, Kelly Tshibaka (R), shows the challenger leading in the all-party, open primary by 15 points over the three-term incumbent.
Tshibaka, who recently hired Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien and deputy campaign manager Justin Clark to run her campaign, leads 34% to 19%, while Al Gross, who ran as an independent last year, pulls 18%.
Politico: “Kelly Tshibaka has tapped National Public Affairs, a consulting firm made up of Trump’s top 2020 campaign advisers, to help oversee her effort. Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, deputy campaign manager Justin Clark and battleground states director Nick Trainer, who relaunched the firm after the presidential election, will serve as Tshibaka’s senior advisers.”
“The candidate has also signed on Tim Murtaugh, who was communications director on Trump’s reelection effort, to serve as a senior communications adviser. Mary Ann Pruitt, an Alaska-based political consultant who was a senior figure on Murkowski’s successful 2016 reelection campaign, has abandoned the senator and is working for Tshibaka.”
Kelly Tshibaka (R), who has led the Alaska Department of Administration since early 2019, announced plans to seek the Alaska U.S. Senate seat that has been held since 2002 by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), the Anchorage Daily News reports.
“The landscape for the 2022 elections in Alaska will be different. A voter initiative passed in November scrapped party primaries for a system in which the top four vote-getters advance to the general election. It also instituted a ranked-choice voting system for general elections.”
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) told ABC News that he would support the reelection of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) if she runs again, after the two GOP lawmakers split on former President Trump’s impeachment.
Said Sullivan: “We don’t agree on everything, but we make a good team for Alaska… If Sen. Murkowski runs again, I’m going to support her.”
The Alaska Republican Party has voted to censure Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and will recruit a challenger to run against her in next year’s election, the Anchorage Daily News reports.
Stuart Rothenberg: “Trump may well campaign against Murkowski — indeed, by threatening to do so publicly, he has virtually given himself no alternative. Backing away from his promise to campaign against the ‘very bad senator’ would make the former president look toothless and foolish.”
“But if Murkowski runs for another term, she will start out with a clear advantage, even with Trump campaigning against her.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-AK) committed that Senate Republicans will support Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) reelection bid in 2022 despite former President Donald Trump advocating that the GOP “get rid of” the 17 Republicans in Congress who voted against him during his second impeachment, CNN reports.
“Just one Republican senator that voted to convict President Donald Trump on Saturday has to face voters next year. But she does not seem to care about the political fallout,” Politico reports.
Said Murkowski: “If I can’t say what I believe that our president should stand for, then why should I ask Alaskans to stand with me? This was consequential on many levels, but I cannot allow the significance of my vote, to be devalued by whether or not I feel that this is helpful for my political ambitions.”
A new Harstad Research poll in Alaska finds Al Gross (I) edging Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 47% to 46%.
Politico: “New money from outside groups and small dollar donors are flooding into Alaska, where independent Al Gross, who is backed by state and national Democrats, is aiming to unseat first-term GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan. The race has been on the edges of the Senate map for months, potentially competitive but receiving far less attention than some more expensive and geographically closer contests.”
“But now a new influx of outside spending and grassroots dollars into Gross’ campaign have given Democrats a major financial edge in the state in the final four weeks.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) might get a primary challenge from former Gov. Sarah Palin (R) in her 2022 campaign, according to E&E News.
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Alaska finds challenger Al Gross (I) in a dead with with Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) for U.S. Senate, 43% to 43%, with 12% unsure.
Protesters carrying a banner and a caribou heart interrupted a event in Anchorage that launched Sen. Dan Sullivan’s (R-AK) campaign for re-election to the U.S. Senate, the Anchorage Daily News reports.
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I) announced he is dropping his bid for re-election, and is endorsing Mark Begich (D) against Mike Dunleavy (R), the Anchorage Daily News reports.
Walker made the announcement three days after former Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott (I) stepped down from both his office and the re-election campaign over unspecified “inappropriate comments” he made to a woman.
Said Walker: “In the time remaining, it has become clear we cannot win a three-way race. The decisions was made that at this point, Begich has the better odds. Alaskans deserve a competitive race and Alaskans deserve a choice other than Mike Dunleavey.”
President Trump predicted that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) “will never recover” politically for her vote against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as he celebrated his nominee’s ascension following an extraordinarily brutal confirmation process, the Washington Post reports.
He added: “I think the people from Alaska will never forgive her for what she did.”
For members: How Murkowski Could Decide Control of the Senate
“Hey Lisa Murkowski, I can see 2022 from my house…”
— Sarah Palin, on Twitter.
After President Trump tweeted that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) “really let the Republicans, and our country, down” by voting against the motion to proceed on health care legislation, the Alaska senator told NBC News, “I am in a position where I’m not looking to reelection until 2022.”
She added: “And quite honestly, I don’t think it’s wise to be operating on a daily basis thinking about what a statement or a response that causes you to be fearful of your electoral prospects.”