How energy will steer the Alaska Senate race between Murkowski and Tshibaka



In the battle for the United States Senate, all eyes are Alaska. The next 16 months promise to be the most expensive and exciting in the state’s 60-year history. Alaska’s 20-year incumbent, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski faces a primary challenge from Kelly Tshibaka, who is running with the full support of former President Trump.

With nearly 25 years on Alaska’s Republican Party’s State Central Committee, I know how Alaskans view the policies and positional authority of our three-member congressional delegation. Having interviewed both candidates on my weekly radio program, I have seen how each candidate is approaching this campaign.

After two decades in the Senate, Murkowski has earned a reputation as a barrier-breaking, deal-making, party-crossing, legislation-passing and Alaska-first lawmaker. Even those not enamored with her left-leaning views on social issues find her incredibly knowledgeable. She has been a leader on energy and natural resources that make up the vast majority of Alaska’s annual GDP, employ over one-quarter of our private-sector workers and provide the United States with the sixth-most oil and gas output in the nation.

After a historic write-in campaign over a tea party challenger in 2010, a near-romp in her reelection in 2016 and the newly-implemented ranked-choice voting starting in 2022, it is a mistake to ever underestimate Murkowski.

Beltway pundits cite her repeated entanglements with Trump as her greatest vulnerability, especially her vote for the former president’s impeachment. Trump has vowed to unseat her, throwing his support full behind her challenger.

Tshibaka returned to Alaska in 2019 after a decade in various jobs Washington, D.C. Since launching her campaign, she has amassed numerous Republican Party affiliate endorsements and basked in the Trump glow.

With both candidates gearing up for the long haul, it is worth noting how our state prioritizes energy and natural resource policy. Most Alaska voters support a balanced approach between environmental stewardship and responsible resource development. While environmentalists disagree, most Alaskans do not support a “wildlife above human life” philosophy. The health of the energy industry and Alaska’s economy are too inextricably linked.

That brings us to some of the other fault lines in this primary.

Read the rest of this column at The Hill.


  1. I read the rest, and – “If an unrighteous person repents, and begins to do what is right, all the sins they may have committed will be forgiven. If a righteous person begins to sin, all the former righteous acts they may have done will not save them.”
    Murkowski’s former, seemingly good acts will not save her, for she has begun to sin against America’s, and Alaska’s people.

    • Let us not forget where she stood nominating our recent justices on the supreme Court. She has balked men candidates from president to the supreme Court her entire career. That’s why I call her a man hater. I’m not sure what her dad ever did to her but she needs to get over it. Her husband must be a whipping boy for her.

  2. I for one am in no hurry to read any further. This “journalist” showed his hand by writting THREE paragraphs about the Incumbent , his best effort to inform readers about Kelly Tshibaka consisted of TWO sentences.
    We can learn more from than this guy.
    I’LL pass.
    TY anyway for the “briefing” from the THE HILL.??

  3. Murk touted opening ANWR as her signature achievement, and then worked to get the guy who would close it down, elected. She is the swampiest of swamp creatures.

  4. I agree with Rhonda, the author ( unwittingly ? ) has given far more credence to Murkowski than to Tshibaka, !!

  5. Senator Murkowski is no longer to be trusted regardless of her past achievements. 20 years is long enough. I only hope the insane ranked choice voting method that somehow squeaked into our state will allow us to give her the boot.

  6. Murkowski could not manage to pass the BAR in a reasonable amount of tries and has only ever been a traitor to those that voted her in. Just like her friendship with Maxwell, the mistress for Epstein; who did not kill himself. Murkowski knew where she was hiding out and let it go. Her 2010 election was really suspect and most people had a nasty taste in their mouth after that. Unfortunately, her opponent was infiltrated by an insane FBI informant that helped her out by making him look bad. The author clearly has a bias and acts like she is somehow very intelligent despite her lack of achievement of anything other than being a swamp creature.

  7. Kelly T … You better watch your back from guys like this (ie: Whitbeck). Obviously, he’s pulling for Daddy’s Little Princess, looking to say or do anything to derail you, and I’m sure there’s a few more unwilling dimwits within the AKGOP to give you an honest and fair chance. Daddy’s Little Princess is their “darling” and you pose a serious challenge to upset their power trip.
    I wish you the best of lock and you have my vote.!

  8. Seems a wee bit arrogant, no?
    Seems like insider advice from GOP Inc., the commercial wing, not to be confused with the populist wing, of Alaska’s Republican Party.
    The message is vote for Murkowski if you know what’s good for you, Murkowski’s good at the only two things which matter: getting money and making Democrats happy.
    Apparently this is not the Murkowski who voted twice to force obamacare on Americans, voted to impeach President Trump, was the only Republican to vote for Vanita Gupta who advocated legalizing hard drugs, voted for Deb Haaland who advocated for fracking and fossil-fuel drilling bans assuring the end of America’s energy independence, voted for Medicare-for-All advocate Xavier Becerra,
    … whose “leader(ship) on energy and natural resources that make up the vast majority of Alaska’s annual GDP” apparently persuadedo the Biden administration to suspend oil and gas drilling leases in ANWR,
    … is committed to Medicaid expansion and taxpayer funding for baby-killing Planned Parenthood, was censured by Alaska’s very own Republican Party State Central Committee for -seven- votes and actions “contrary to the Alaska Republican Party platform and best interests of the State of Alaska”.
    To her credit, and our relief, Kelly Tshibaka has none of these qualifications which, in our view, makes Ms. Tshibaka the better candidate by far.
    So we respectfully disagree with Mr. Whitbeck. We believe what will steer the Alaska Senate race is the growing, populist idea that an Alaskan senator should represent something more than exclusively Democrat or corporate interests (as if there’s a difference).
    Only time, and the potential corruptibility of Alaska’s ranked-choice voting and Dominion vote-tabulating, will tell.

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