Results: Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski defeated Trump-endorsed Kelly Tshibaka in Alaska's Senate election

alaska sen
Mark Thiessen/AP Photo; Insider
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski ran against fellow Republican Kelly Tshibaka and Democrat Patricia Chesbro, but the battle was largely between the two Republicans.

  • Tshibaka was endorsed by Donald Trump, while Murkowski had the endorsements of several high-profile Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin.

  • Murkowski has bucked her party on multiple key issues, including voting to convict Trump after the House impeached him over the January 6 storming of the US Capitol.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski defeated Democrat Patricia Chesbro and fellow Republican Kelly Tshibaka in Alaska to represent the state in the US Senate.

 

 

Alaska's Senate race candidates

Murkowski is a moderate Republican who's represented Alaska for two decades. She became a senator in 2002 when her father, former Sen. Frank Murkowski, appointed her to his seat after resigning to become governor of the state.

After losing the Republican primary to Joe Miller in 2010, Murkowski successfully ran for reelection as a write-in candidate, becoming the first senator in 50 years to wage a victorious write-in campaign for a US Senate seat. Prior to her time as a senator, Murkowski served in the Alaska House of Representatives.

Murkowski has bucked her party on multiple key issues, including voting to convict then-President Donald Trump after the House impeached him over the January 6 storming of the US Capitol, voting to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, and most recently, reaching across the aisle to endorse Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola in Alaska's special US House election earlier this year.

Murkowski had the endorsements of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and several high-profile Democratic politicians, including Peltola, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Sen. Krysten Sinema of Arizona.

Tshibaka, her Republican rival, is a former commissioner at the Alaska Department of Administration who was endorsed by Trump and the Republican Party of Alaska. An attorney, she has worked for several federal agencies, including the Postal Service, the Justice Department, and the Federal Trade Commission.

She has called for the need to protect Arctic Alaska from Russian aggression.

Murkowksi and Tshibaka together won more than 80% of the primary vote, with the Republican incumbent receiving 45% and Tshibaka receiving 38.6%.

They competed in a three-way race with Democratic nominee Chesbro, a retired educator who serves on the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Planning Commission.

Alaska's voting history

The state voted for then-President Donald Trump over Joe Biden by a margin of 10 percentage points in the 2020 election. Alaska has voted for the Republican candidate in every presidential election cycle since 1960, only voting Democratic for Lyndon Johnson's rout of Barry Goldwater in 1964.

The money race

According to OpenSecrets, Murkowski raised $10.8 million, spent $8.7 million, and had $2.2 million cash on hand, as of October 19.

Her Democratic challenger, Chesbro, raised $184,617, spent $155,866, and had $28,751 cash on hand.

Her Republican challenger, Tshibaka, raised $4.8 million, spent $4.2 million, and had $692,428 cash on hand, as of October 19.

As of late October, over a dozen super PACs, national party committees, politically active nonprofits, and other non-candidate groups had combined to spend nearly $15 million to advocate for or against candidates in this race, including during the race's primary phase.

Murkowski benefitted from most of that spending, including a $6.1 million boost from the Senate Leadership Fund, a national Republican super PAC.

What experts say

The race between Murkowski, Tshibaka and Chesbro was rated as "solid Republican" by Inside Elections, "solid Republican" by The Cook Political Report, and "safe Republican" by Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

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