Ex-president Trump endorses Murkowski challenger

WASHINGTON (thehill): Former President Trump formally endorsed the top primary challenger to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in a Friday statement, making good on his promise to go after the Alaska Republican over her repeated criticisms and vote to convict him in his impeachment trial earlier this year.

In a statement disseminated by Trump’s leadership PAC Save America, the former president threw his support behind former Alaska Commissioner of Administration Kelly Tshibaka, casting her as a staunch supporter of his agenda.

“Murkowski has got to go!” proclaimed Trump.

 “Kelly Tshibaka is the candidate who can beat Murkowski — and she will. Kelly is a fighter who stands for Alaska values and America First.  She is MAGA all the way, pro-energy, strong on the Border, tough on Crime and totally supports our Military and our great Vets. Kelly is a powerful supporter of the Second Amendment and JOBS! I look forward to campaigning in Alaska for Kelly Tshibaka. She has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

Tshibaka first launched her campaign against Murkowski in late March, saying that the Republican incumbent no longer represents the values held by the GOP base.

“I am running for the Senate to represent our conservative Alaska values,” Tshibaka said at the time. “We’re going to defeat Lisa Murkowski and show the DC insiders what happens when Alaska has strong conservative leadership!”

Tshibaka is the only major primary opponent to Murkowski to announce a campaign thus far.

While Murkowski has not yet formally launched a reelection campaign, she will be no electoral slouch if she runs for another term.

She lost the GOP primary in 2010 to a Tea Party-backed candidate but went on to win the general election as a write-in candidate.