Trump-endorsed politician launches bid to unseat GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Kelly Tshibaka is hoping to defeat Murkowski in the August primary. Murkowski voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial.

Kelly Tshibaka, candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alaska, addresses attendees on day one of the 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, on Feb. 24, 2022.Paul Hennessy / SOPA Images/Sipa USA via AP file

Alaska politician Kelly Tshibaka, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, launched a Senate bid Monday to challenge Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of the most vulnerable Republicans seeking re-election this year.

Tshibaka will appear on the August primary ballot as a challenger to Murkowski, who has served in the Senate for nearly two decades. In a statement Monday, she blasted the incumbent for her voting record.

“Every time she votes with her Washington, D.C. friends against the interests of Alaskans, she harms the people of this state, but she doesn’t feel it,” Tshibaka said of Murkowski in a statement Monday. “We, the people, pay the price for her popularity.”

Tshibaka, who has questioned the 2020 presidential election results and cited what she said were credible allegations of voter fraud, led Alaska's Department of Administration from early 2019 until last year.

Murkowski has been a Trump target ever since she voted to convict him in his second impeachment trial and called for his resignation after the Jan. 6 riot. The former president has also endorsed Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy on the condition that he not support Murkowski’s re-election bid.

On Monday, Tshibaka took aim at Murkowski for voting to confirm Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and criticized the senator for also confirming Ketanji Brown Jackson — describing her as a “leftist judge”— to the Supreme Court. Murkowski was one of only three Republicans to back Jackson.

In her own campaign video announcing a re-election bid, Murkowski said she was committed to bipartisanship.

"My commitment to Alaska is the same one I made during my first campaign," she said. "I will work with anyone from either party to advance Alaska’s priorities."