Murkowski and Trump-backed Tshibaka advance to Alaska general election, NBC projects

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is seen in the Capitol during a vote on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and a top Republican primary challenger endorsed by former President Donald Trump will advance to the general election, NBC projects.

Murkowski and Kelly Tshibaka, former Alaska Department of Administration commissioner, will both move forward, along with Democrat Patricia Chesbro, NBC projects. It was too early to call the fourth candidate in this contest.

Alaska has a top-four primary threshold as part of the state’s ranked-choice voting system, which was adopted through a ballot measure in 2020 — just in time for Murkowski, who was not guaranteed to emerge from Tuesday’s primary race as the clear favorite.

Both Trump and Alaska’s Republican Party have endorsed Tshibaka over the incumbent Murkowski for the Senate seat. Trump had strongly criticized Murkowski while he was president, saying in 2018 that she would “never recover” after she voted against his second Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

Trump, the de facto leader of the Republican Party, vowed to campaign against Murkowski after she joined six other Republican senators in voting to convict Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

“I do not know where other people will be next year, but I know where I will be — in Alaska campaigning against a disloyal and very bad Senator,” Trump said at the time.

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