Trump-backed Tshibaka endorsed by pro-female candidates conservative group over incumbent Murkowski

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FIRST ON FOX: A leading outside group that’s dedicated to electing conservative women is endorsing the female Republican primary challenger to longtime GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Maggie’s List on Wednesday backed former Alaska commissioner of administration Kelly Tshibaka. The move was one of three endorsements made by the influential federal political action committee that was shared first with Fox News. 

The endorsement of Tshibaka was the first time Maggie’s List since its founding in 2010 has backed a challenger to a female Republican member of the Senate or House of Representatives.

Former Alaska commissioner of administration  Kelly Tshibaka is supported by former President Trump as she primary challenges GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in the 2022 midterm elections.
(Tshibaka Senate campaign)

Murkowski, a moderate Republican with a history of working across the aisle to achieve bipartisan agreements, was one of seven GOP lawmakers in the Senate to join all 50 Democrats in voting to convict former President Trump in his February impeachment trial on charges of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Trump was acquitted when the Senate vote fell 10 short of the two-thirds needed to convict. Murkowski is the only one of those seven Republicans running for reelection in next year’s midterms. 

Trump vowed to come to Alaska to campaign against the senator. Earlier this year he endorsed Tshibaka, and a couple of leading members of Trump’s 2020 presidential reelection inner circle are working as senior advisers on Tshibaka’s team.

While targeted by Trump and the Alaska GOP, Murkowski has the support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the reelection arm of the Senate GOP, which has long backed Republican incumbents running for reelection. And longtime Senate GOP leader Sen. Mitch McConnell and his political team have pledged to support Murkowski as she runs for reelection. The McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund, the top outside super PAC backing Senate Republicans, endorsed Murkowski earlier this year.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) asks questions during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss reopening schools during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Sept. 30, 2021. (Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS)
(Reuters)

Maggie’s List on Wednesday also endorsed Republican House candidates Esther Joy King in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District and Tanya Wheeless in Arizona’s 9th Congressional District, two Democratic-held seats the House GOP’s targeting in the 2022 midterm elections. Republicans need a net gain of just five seats in the 435-member chamber to regain the majority.

“Conservative candidates have an important mission in the 2022 elections – to regain control of both houses of Congress and we at Maggie’s List believe that our endorse candidates present the best opportunity to win their respective elections in November, Jennifer Carroll, former Florida lieutenant governor and Maggie’s List national spokesperson, told Fox News.

Carroll emphasized that Maggie’s List is “proud to endorse these three candidates who have already demonstrated their commitment to conservative values and serving our nation.”

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