Two Alaska Republican legislators are going against the Alaska Republican Party and are endorsing Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s re-election attempt. In making their endorsements, state Sen. Natasha von Imhof of Anchorage and Alaska House Speaker Louise Stutes of Kodiak emphasized Murkowski’s deep understanding of Alaska.
The Alaska Republican Party in 2021 formally censured Murkowski for her vote to convict President Donald Trump during his impeachment trial, which occurred after he was no longer president, and the party asked that Murkowski not run as a Republican. It was the final straw for Republicans. The censure vote by Republican officers went over 70 percent against Murkowski.
Also over the weekend, Murkowski’s opponent Kelly Tshibaka got the prize endorsement of the Alaska Outdoor Council. The group rarely endorses and has not supported anyone who has lost in recent memory.
Tshibaka announced she would challenge Murkowski last March and now has the full endorsement of the Alaska Republican Party and Donald Trump. Alaska Outdoor Council has a membership of over 10,000 Alaskans statewide.
“Our primary mission is to preserve outdoor spaces for public use and represent our member organizations in the pursuit of their outdoor interests. We are proud to endorse Kelly Tshibaka, as it is clear to us that she is the candidate who will best advocate for Alaskan control of our own lands and resources. The federal government has a relentless desire to declare more and more of our own land off-limits, and the encroachment has gotten even worse in the last year. Tshibaka has shown that she will be a champion for Alaska’s rights and the rights of people who want to take advantage of outdoor pursuits,” said Rod Arno, public policy director of the Alaska Outdoor Council.
“Lisa Murkowski rolls over for the Biden administration and the radical environmentalists who make policy and is doing nothing to stop the Leftist plan to turn Alaska into an untouchable national park for the rest of the country. Murkowski has voted to conform over 90 percent of Joe Biden’s radical nominees, including the extremists who want to shut down all activity on our lands. We must have a senator who will stand up for all Alaskans, including those who want to pursue outdoor activities. I am grateful for the support of the Alaska Outdoor Council, and I pledge to defend their ideals when I am Alaska’s next senator.”
As for Murkowski’s attributes, von Imhof said, “Being a lifelong Alaskan, Senator Murkowski has a true understanding of our people, culture, and values.”
Along with von Imhof and Stutes, Democrat legislators Neal Foster of Nome and Adam Wool of Fairbanks endorsed Murkowski. Democrat U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin endorsed Murkowski this weekend as well.
Rep. Wool was quoted saying, “I haven’t always agreed with Senator Murkowski, but I have always admired her courage to make difficult decisions, take tough stances, and vote her conscience. I know she’s guided by a love for Alaska and the desire to stand up for Alaskans – values I always agree with,” said Rep. Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks).
“Lisa has done a fabulous job representing the diverse and independent viewpoints of Alaskans. In a political landscape dominated by party-line politics and special interests, Senator Murkowski has proven that she puts her constituents first. We need Lisa on the job, working to move all of Alaska forward,” said Stutes.
In late January, State Sen. Gary Stevens, a Republican of Kodiak, also turned his back on the Republican Party and endorsed Murkowski, who also got the support of Reps. Bryce Edgmon (I-Dillingham), Zack Fields (D-Anchorage) and Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan).