District 14 Republicans met on Wednesday evening and passed resolutions to censure both their State House Rep. Kelly Merrick, who joined the Democrat-controlled majority coalition, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, for her role in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
Both elected leaders who were sanctioned by the district Republican leaders are Republicans.
District Chair Joe Wright led the meeting, during which members had tried to get Merrick to join by phone or Zoom teleconference to explain why she had left the Republican majority (there are 21 elected Republicans in the House) and joined the Democrat-led coalition to form up a weak majority, with Speaker Louise Stutes. Stutes is the other Republican in the patched-together coalition.
The group of 19 Republicans in Eagle River had a long discussion about Merrick, who had promised to them in earlier meetings that she would not join the Democrats. Among their options, sources say, is to initiate a recall against Merrick, something that they are now researching.
The censure of Murkowski was similar to the the resolution passed last year in the District. This time, the censure said she had violated her constitutional duties, and that she had voted to convict Donald J. Trump of inciting an insurrection.