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Republican Lisa Murkowski wins Alaska Senate re-election

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was re-elected, fending off a challenge from a far-right Republican backed by former President Donald Trump.

Murkowski, now entering his fourth term in the Senate, defeated Kelly Tshibaka in the third round of his state’s new ranked voting system. She also beat Democrat Patricia Chesbro. Murkowski won with almost 54%.

“Thank you, Alaska,” Murkowski said in a statement late Wednesday. “I am honored that Alaskans―of all regions, backgrounds, and political affiliations―have once again placed their trust in me to continue to work with them and on their behalf in the U.S. Senate. I look forward to continuing the important work ahead of us.

It took more than two weeks for Alaskan election officials to tabulate the final results of the race. It was expected.

Under the new system of state elections, vThe rest ranked their top four candidates, regardless of political affiliation, in order of who they wanted to win. Their second, third, and fourth picks were only considered if their first and subsequent picks finished last and did not advance to the next round. The election ended as soon as a candidate obtained more than 50% of the votes.

Since neither Murkowski nor Tshibaka got 50% after the first-choice votes were tallied, election officials then considered the second-choice picks. In the end, Murkowski was the first to get a majority vote.

The Alaska senator, who regularly wins elections addressing a broad base of moderate Republicans, independents and Democrats, has certainly benefited from the state’s new electoral system, which voters approved in 2020. In the primary, all she had to do to advance was be one of the top four voters. In the general election, Murkowski, who is by far the most moderate Republican in the current Senate, was well positioned to garner more votes across all parties as voters’ second and third-place picks were considered.

Murkowski had been a prime target for defeat by Trump, who has vowed to unseat her since she was one of seven Republicans who voted to convict him of inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, insurgency. Trump l attacks regularly and went to Alaska in July for Tshibaka, a far-right social conservative who once wrote in favor of an “ex-gay” organization and warned of the evils of “addictive” witchcraft.

Leaders of the Alaska Republican Party also endorsed Tshibaka, who previously headed the Department of State Administration. Their endorsement came months after voting 53 to 17 to censure Murkowski for voting to impeach Trump. Buzz Kelley, a Republican who finished fourth in the Senate primary, halted his campaign earlier this fall and also threw his support behind Tshibaka.

The Murkowski-Tshibaka race has evolved into a proxy fight between Trump and another of his critics: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Who directed millions of dollars to the state to support Murkowski. A GOP senator anonymously told NBC News last week“Mitch really took steps to push Trump.”

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) won re-election for the fourth time, tossing out a Republican challenger backed by former President Donald Trump.

Not that Murkowski necessarily needed McConnell’s help. She has already proven herself in the fight against extremists – and her own party. In 2010, when she unexpectedly lost her primary to a Tea Party candidate, she launched a written campaign featuring now famous commercials who carefully spelled his name. In a breathtaking featand without any support from the Republican Party, including McConnell, she won.

The veteran senator has also benefited from greater notoriety and more money. As of October 19, Murkowski had raised $10.8 million and spent $8.7 million, with $2.2 million in cash, by OpenSecrets. Tshibaka, meanwhile, had raised $4.8 million, spent $4.2 million and had $692,000 in cash as of October 19. by OpenSecrets.

A few weeks before the elections, Murkowski crossed party lines to endorse Democrat Mary Peltola in her race for Alaska’s only House seat. And Peltola endorsed Murkowski. It may sound strange, but they have a lot in common, besides knowing each other for years: Both faced Trump-backed candidates, both ran as moderate, pro-choice candidates, and both focused intensely on the needs of Alaska Natives.

Peltola won a special election in September to complete the rest of the late Republican Rep. Don Young‘s term. And on Wednesday, she won a full term in office. She is the first Indigenous person in the state elected to federal office.

Murkowski certainly profited by publicly associating with Peltola. She had a positive rating of 52% in a recent survey by Alaska Survey Research, compared to her two GOP challengers polling 20 points below her. In the same survey, Murkowski had a positive rating of 44% to Tshibaka’s 34%.

The Huffington Gt

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