The Alaska Republican Party voted Saturday to censure Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and pledged to support her firing from the Senate by promoting a primary challenger against her in 2022.
Kris Warren, head of the Anchorage Republican Party group, noted, “She’s repeatedly spoken out against President Trump over the years in spite of all the great accomplishments he had that helped the country and certainly helped Alaska.”
Former President Donald Trump has already promised to campaign against Murkowski. The senator faces reelection in 2022.
Murkowski served as one of seven Republican Senators who voted to impeach Trump following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Trump told Politco, “I will not be endorsing, under any circumstances, the failed candidate from the great State of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski.”
Many Republicans are also opposed to Murkowski’s reelection because of her support to confirm Deb Haaland, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of the Interior.
In contrast, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stated he will continue to support Murkowski. McConnell answered he was not worried about Murkowski’s reelection during a CNN interview on Mar. 1.
Potential candidates include Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. No Republican primary contenders have yet announced a campaign against Murkowski.
The state’s ranked-choice voting system will serve as a challenge. The top four primary finishers face off in the general election, likely meaning Murkowski will reach the November election regardless of competition.
The campaign will also likely serve as a test of Trump’s potential 2024 presidential campaign. His midterm influence could help shift power to Republicans in the Senate and House, leading to a conservative comeback in the next presidential election.