Though a certain number of Republicans have made names for themselves in recent years by aligning much more closely with the interest of D.C. elites rather than their own party’s base, frustration with one such individual is reportedly bubbling over in her state as she prepares to face voters in the midterm elections.
As Breitbart reports, Alaska conservative Kelly Tshibaka – a 2022 candidate for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Lisa Murkowski – says that the people of her state “feel forgotten” by the incumbent lawmaker who she says is “not standing up to the radical Biden administration while they kill [their] oil and gas jobs.”
During an appearance on Breitbart News Saturday, Tshibaka told host Matthew Boyle that Murkowski, long assailed by many in her party as a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only), has morphed into someone who is “a lot more like those D.C. insiders than us.” In support of that contention, she points to the senator’s history of opposing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and her vote against confirming now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Tshibaka also blasted Murkowski’s record when it comes to immigration, saying, “She’s voted to allow illegal immigrants to come into our country. Even if they commit crime, they can stay here.”
Murkowski’s rival also underscored the frustration many Alaskans have felt since the senator decided to become one of the few Republican lawmakers in the upper chamber to vote for the conviction of former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial back in February, joining Sens. Mitt Romney (UT), Richard Burr (NC), Bill Cassidy (LA), Susan Collins (ME), Ben Sasse (NE), and Pat Toomey (PA).
Adding fuel to the fire, says Tshibaka, is the fact that Murkowski has not taken a strong stand against Biden administration energy policies she says are certain to harm workers in her state, asserting, “She acted like she was surprised even though in [Biden’s] debates, he said he was going to do it. He shut down our oil and gas drilling. Alaska and our companies knew it.”
According to Tshibaka, it is the aggregation of these positions that have caused Alaskans to turn on Murkowski, stating:
So for all of those reasons, we are absolutely fed up with Lisa Murkowski. She was censured by the Alaska Republican Party and they said inside our borders she’s not allowed to be called a Republican anymore.
I want to go to the Senate and I want to fight for Alaska.
Tshibaka points to the existence of what she calls a “large grassroots groundwell” in support of unseating Murkowski, claiming that Alaskans – including some of the senator’s former aides — have been approaching her about a possible candidacy for roughly a year, according to Breitbart. She laments that “everybody liked and supported Lisa at one point,” but says “there’s a reason she’s been there 20 years and they feel like she doesn’t remember her Alaska roots, and she’s just lost touch with al of us.
Whether the voters of Alaska will at long last demand senatorial representation that mirrors their own political, economic, and philosophical viewpoints remains to be seen, but the emergence of a candidate willing to call a notorious RINO like Murkowski to public account for a series of controversial decisions is a positive development, indeed.