Alaska Republican Party leaders on Saturday approved a challenger to incumbent U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, who has been one of the GOP’s most vocal critics of former President Donald Trump, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
The Central Committee of the Republican State of Alaska approved Kelly Tshibaka in the 2022 race for the US Senate seat taken by Murkowski. The committee approved Tshibaka’s approval by 58-17 votes at a meeting in Fairbanks, the newspaper reported.
In a statement, Tshibaka said she will champion conservative ideals and be a senator Alaskans can “trust to make any decision based on what’s best for our great state.”
Tshibaka, who headed the Alaska Department of Administration, announced on March 29 that she would run for the Senate seat of Murkowski, who has been in office since 2002.
On March 15, the Republican Central Committee of the State voted 53-17 to censor Murkowski, citing her vote to impeach Trump and other voices who have broken with the GOP leadership, the Daily News reported. Alaska Republican Party leaders at the time said they would recruit someone to act against her.
Trump has endorsed Tshibaka. “Lisa Murkowski is bad for Alaska,” Trump said in a statement last month. “Murkowski must go!”
Murkowski said in a statement to the Daily News that she has fought for Alaska’s values in the US Senate and will continue to do so.
“Alaskan voters will decide who represents them in DC, and I work every day to earn their support,” Murkowski said.