Trump-Endorsed Tshibaka Rips 21-Year Incumbent Murkowski for Skipping Forum
By Charles Kim | Wednesday, 12 October 2022 09:34 PM EDT
Alaska Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate Kelly Tshibaka tore into incumbent GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski for skipping a Tuesday candidate forum sponsored by ConocoPhillips.
"Oil and gas jobs are the most crucial part of Alaska's economy, and there are thousands of Alaska families who are worried about what [President Joe] Biden is doing to their livelihoods," Tshibaka said in a statement Wednesday. "Lisa Murkowski has enabled Biden's war on Alaska, yet she can't be bothered to come speak to the very people she has endangered. She's much more comfortable with her D.C. insider friends, who are very happy that she's helped put radical environmentalists in charge."
Tshibaka, who is backed by former President Donald Trump, and Murkowski both advanced to the general election from the Aug. 16 Republican primary due to Alaska's ranked choice voting system along with Democrat Patricia Chesbro, according to Ballotpedia.
The FiveThirtyEight.com website gives Tshibaka a 53 in 100 chance of unseating Murkowski [47 in 100] in the tight race.
Although the site gives Tshibaka a slight advantage overall, its polling shows the two locked in a dead-heat of just two percentage points, with Murkowski at 42% and Tshibaka at 39% in one of a series of polls conducted with 1,282 likely voters from Sept. 25-27.
Trump endorsed Murkowski's GOP challenger following the senator's vote to impeach him in the Senate last year.
On Monday, Trump went after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for spending $9 million in campaign money to support Murkowski against Tshibaka instead of using the funds to help Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters of Arizona against Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly, according to The Hill.
"The old broken crow, Mitchell McConnell, is authorizing $9 million to be spent in order to beat a great Republican, Kelly [Tshibaka], instead of $9 million that could be used for Blake Masters and other Republicans that with this money would beat their Democrat opponent," Trump said in the Hill article.
Tshibaka said in her statement that Murkowski cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate to approve President Joe Biden's interior secretary nominee Deb Haaland, even though she "had concerns" Haaland's "radical" views would hurt the state.
"When I'm the next senator for Alaska, I will always fight for Alaska's right to responsibly develop our own natural resources, because we do it safer and more efficiently than anyone else," Tshibaka said in her statement. "And I will always stand up for the men and women who work in these vital industries, which is why I have been endorsed by the Oil and Gas Workers Association. My parents were able to pull themselves into the middle class thanks to an oil job, and I will always be there to fight for those jobs."