Alaska Republican Party Censures Mitch McConnell for Attacking Senate Republican Candidate Kelly Tshibaka

US Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka waves before speaking ahead of former US President Dona
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images, Patrick T. FALLON / AFP

The Alaska Republican Party on Monday censured Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for attacking Senate Republican candidate Kelly Tshibaka.

In recent months, the McConnell-backed Senate Leadership Fund had focused about $9 million against Tshibaka to protect 21-year incumbent and pro-impeachment Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who is in a very tight reelection race, recent polling shows.

The censure process began Friday and resulted in a 49-8 vote in favor of the resolution to censure McConnell and his financial war machine.

“That the Alaska Republican Party State Central Committee condemns the divisive and misleading statements from the Senate Leadership Fund and the inappropriate use of millions of dollars from the Senate Leadership Fund to oppose our endorsed candidate, Kelly Tshibaka,” the resolution in part read.

“Finally, be it resolved that we request the Senate Leadership Fund immediately stop the attack ads against Kelly Tshibaka and discontinue the support of all other opposing candidates,” it continued.

The censure of the top Senate Republican by the Alaska GOP is an extraordinary move that shows just how out of step McConnell is with American workers.

After the vote, Mary Ann Pruitt, an adviser to Tshibaka, told Must Read Alaska that Alaskans do not want outside influences impacting state elections. “No one from Alaska wants big shots from the Lower 48 meddling in our elections, and they certainly don’t want D.C. Republicans lying about the candidate who’s been endorsed by the Alaska GOP,” she said.

“Alaska Republicans are telling Mitch McConnell to stay out of it. But this goes to show you who Lisa Murkowski is aligned with. She’s wearing the jersey of the Washington establishment of Biden, Pelosi, and McConnell, and she’s not on Alaska’s team,” Pruitt added.

The censure comes as seven Alaskan Republican committees just last week issued a public rebuke of McConnell’s financial influence behind Murkowski. The names of the organizations opposing McConnell include Kenai Peninsula Republican Women of Alaska, District 26 Republican Committee, Mat-Su Republican Women’s Club, three affiliate groups of the Alaska Republican Party (6, 9, 30), and the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club.

In March 2021, Murkowski was also censured by the Alaska Republican Party and asked to leave. Murkowski refused and instead has voted nine times with Democrats in the last two years. If reelected, she has pledged to continue to aid the Democrats’ agenda.

Murkowski has outspent Tshibaka by about $7.5 million, though polling shows Tshibaka is leading by a slim margin. Alaska election rules provide for open-ranked choice voting, which ultimately protects incumbents.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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