McConnell-aligned super PAC backs Murkowski against primary challenge

A super PAC aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday it supports reelecting Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska next year, despite former President Donald Trump’s opposition.

In explaining its endorsement, the Senate Leadership Fund cited Ms. Murkowski’s votes for two of Mr. Trump’s three Supreme Court appointments, Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett, as well as her vote for the 2017 GOP tax overhaul, among other things. 

“Alaska needs the kind of experienced representation that Lisa Murowski provides in the United States Senate,” said Steven Law, Senate Leadership Fund president, in a statement. “Whether fighting for Alaskan interests like expanding energy production and protecting fisheries, or advancing conservative priorities by confirming judges and cutting taxes, her strong leadership is vitally important to Alaska’s future. Many politicians put themselves first, but Lisa Murkowski always puts Alaska first.”

Ms. Murkowski voted to convict Mr. Trump on impeachment charges earlier this year, and Mr. Trump has made clear he will work to defeat her.

“Few people know where they’ll be in two years from now, but I do, in the Great State of Alaska (which I love) campaigning against Senator Lisa Murkowski,” Mr. Trump tweeted in June.

A new challenger entered the GOP race in Alaska last month, former Alaska administration commissioner Kelly Tshibaka. Upon announcing her run against Ms. Murkowski, she won support from some of Mr. Trump’s allies, including former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale who tweeted that he donated to Ms. Tshibaka’s burgeoning campaign. 

“We know what Washington, D.C. thinks about Alaska: We’re here for their benefit, we’re not going to put up much of a fight. And after about 20 years in D.C., Lisa Murkowski thinks the same way,” said Tshibaka in a video announcing her challenge to Ms. Murkowski. “But you know what? Nothing scares those D.C. insiders more than the thought of a strong, independent Alaskan leader in their ranks.”

Ms. Murkowski won her third term in the U.S. Senate in 2016, and she previously won reelection in 2010 after conceding her loss in the GOP primary.

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