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Kelly Tshibaka reacts to Alaska GOP endorsement

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 4:38 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - On Saturday, July 10, the Alaska Republican State Central Committee endorsed Kelly Tshibaka for U.S. Senate in a vote of 58 to 17.

“The party has never done an endorsement of a Senate candidate before the primary before,” Tshibaka said.

In March, Tshibaka announced that she would be running for Alaska’s open Senate seat in 2022, a seat currently held by longtime Senator Lisa Murkowski.

Tshibaka said the endorsement was “very humbling and honoring. It was an unprecedented endorsement on their part. It shows that we have the support of the GOP behind me. The vote was larger than the vote to censure Lisa Murkowski in March, which shows that there is an increasing movement of support across the state for the campaign.”

Murkowski was censured earlier this year by the state’s Republican Party.

Tshibaka says that her decision to run for office comes from a desire to see opportunity in the state. “Every Alaskan should have the kind of opportunity that my parents had, to work a good-paying job and put a roof over their head, and maybe send their little kid off to college; but I look around and we don’t see a lot of opportunities like that anymore. It’s hard to catch a glimpse of that and it makes me sad.”

She has also received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. “Right now, we’ve got a Biden administration that’s taken a pretty radical position when it comes to Alaska. They’re energy-annihilating in every way. They’re anti-mining, anti-oil and gas, anti-timber. They’re against Alaska sovereignty and against our lands.”

While the election is still more than a year away, Tshibaka is optimistic about what she’ll see on the campaign trail. “We’ve had a huge amount of support and momentum from Alaskans. In just these first three months, we’ve been able to raise more money than any of Lisa Murkowski’s opponents in the 2016 race, and half that money has come from Alaskans.”

She called her campaign “a movement by the people of our state to take our state back.”

Murkowski has not yet said whether she will run for reelection in 2022. She has served in the U.S. Senate since 2002.

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