'Bipartisan support': Lisa Murkowski endorses a Democrat over Sarah Palin in Alaska House race
Alaska politics received a major shock when, during a special election for its only U.S. House of Representatives seat, Democrat Mary Peltola defeated one of the state’s most famous and divisive Republicans: former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Peltola is now a congresswoman, but she’s still campaigning — as she is now running against Palin and others in a different election: the general election, which will determine whether or not Peltola remains in the U.S. House and serves a full two-year term after 2022.
Peltola is being endorsed by a well-known Alaska Republican: Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
Much to the chagrin of the MAGA crowd, Republican Murkowski wants to see Democrat Peltola — not Palin or any of the other candidates — in that U.S. House seat in 2023.
New York Magazine’s Ed Kilgore, reporting on October 24, explains, “Both Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Congresswoman Mary Peltola are self-consciously centrist women who favor abortion rights, are battling candidates backed by Donald Trump, and are unusually dependent on support from Alaska’s Native population. Peltola is, in fact, the first Alaska Native to serve in Congress. So, it wasn’t entirely shocking when these longtime friends casually endorsed each other at an Alaska Federation of Natives convention, as the Washington Post reported.”
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Kilgore points out that Peltola “knows she needs some bipartisan support in what is still a strongly Republican-leaning state.”
“Upon defeating former governor and vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin in a special election to fill the vacancy left by the death of longtime Republican Congressman Don Young in March, she immediately hired well-known Young staffers and positioned herself as heir to his legacy of single-minded focus on securing federal funding and natural-resource and environmental policies favorable to the state,” Kilgore observes. “In November, she’s facing Palin again for a full House term, along with Sarah Barracuda’s Republican rival Nick Begich III and libertarian Chris Bye.”
Allies Peltola and Murkowski have endorsed one another in the 2022 midterms. Murkowski, running for reelection, is up against fellow Republican Kelly Tshibaka — a far-right MAGA candidate supported by former President Donald Trump — and Democrat Pat Chesbro.
“Murkowski isn’t just battling a Trump surrogate,” Kilgore notes. “Tshibaka is being formally backed by the state GOP, which is perpetually annoyed by Murkowski’s ideological and partisan heresies: e.g., supporting abortion rights, voting for conviction in Trump’s second impeachment trial, and voting against Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation. But she has a history of bucking her party in elections — notably in 2010, when she lost her primary and still won another term via a rare write-in campaign that benefited from a strong Native vote on her behalf.”
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