Report: Palin eyed as Murkowski challenger after impeachment vote

by WorldTribune Staff, February 21, 2021

Republican Party officials in Alaska are fed up with Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

The pro-choice Republican voted against confirming Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. She also supported the Affordable Care Act. The final straw was her vote to convict President Donald Trump at the Senate impeachment trial on Feb. 13.

Sarah Palin, left, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski

“Everywhere I go, people have been disgruntled with Murkowski for a long time,” said Barbara Tyndall, GOP chair for Alaska’s 3rd District, which covers the North Pole and Chena Lakes. “Everybody is saying, ‘Yes, we need a primary challenger now.’ ”

Murkowksi’s anti-Trump vote “put a mama bear-size bullseye on the three-term senator,” Alex Swoyer reported for The Washington Times on Feb. 19.

GOP officials in Alaska are looking to former governor and Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin as a potential primary challenger to Murkowski, who is up for re-election in 2022.

“Palin, who served as Alaska’s ninth governor and the Republican Party’s 2008 vice presidential nominee on the ticket with John McCain, is an early favorite among conservatives,” Swoyer noted. “But she isn’t the only possible contender for the race. Alaska Gov. Michael James Dunleavy, who has been in office since 2018, is being prodded by some in the party.”

Tyndall said that the Alaska GOP’s state committee will meet March 12 with a primary topic on the agenda being to decide who to back in a primary against Murkowski.

Five of the state’s House districts have approved resolutions to censure Murkowski, according to the Anchorage Daily News. Members of the state Republican Party are also working on a censure resolution.

Murkoswki was first elected to the Senate in 2002 when her father, former Gov. Frank Murkowski, appointed her to finish his term after he won the governorship.

Murkowski has won three full terms to the Senate but has never won a majority of the vote. She won 48.6 percent of the vote in 2004, 39.5 percent in 2010 and 44.4 percent in 2016.

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