A groundswell from the grassroots has risen and reached the Alaska Republican Party leadership. After voting members of the Alaska Republican Party State Central Committee asked party leadership to take action, the entire body was polled by Chairwoman Ann Brown on whether to censure Sen. Mitch McConnell for bullying Alaska Republican Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka.
The result was 49-8 in favor of the resolution to censure McConnell and his Senate Leadership Fund for attacking Tshibaka on behalf of McConnell’s favored candidate, Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
Several districts had already conducted separate votes as subcommittees of the State Central Committee. The District 26 resolution requested that the entire party take a vote, which triggered the statewide question.
On Friday night, Chairwoman Ann Brown sent out a note to voting members and balloting began, ending on Sunday evening. Results were sent out to the party’s voting members on Monday morning.
McConnell, who runs the Senate Leadership Fund, has been running anti-Tshibaka ads since Labor Day in his effort to support the reelection of Murkowski. But Tshibaka is the endorsed candidate of the Alaska Republican Party since June of 2021, while Murkowski was censured and asked to leave the party in March of 2021.
“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 reads in part, “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.”
The party is unhappy with Murkowski because she works against the party platform and against the best interest of the state she represents, the resolutions says. In an overwhelming vote in 2021, the party’s censure action also prohibited Murkowski from being a candidate in any Republican primary, a condition that has been superseded by Ballot Measure 2, which destroyed the Republican primary.
While the 49-8 vote shows overwhelming for the censure, no subcommittee of the party has risen to defend McConnell’s action against the Alaska Republican Party.
“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. 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,” said Mary Ann Pruitt, adviser to the Tshibaka campaign.
The vote comes at a time when Murkowski has endorsed a Democrat for Congress. Over the weekend, Murkowski skipped over the two Republicans running for Alaska’s lone House seat in Congress, and endorsed Mary Peltola.
The vote was to be posted on the Alaska Republican Party’s Facebook page, but Chairwoman Brown made no mention about sending it to the National Republican Committee, McConnell, or the Senate Leadership Fund.