As the 2022 midterm election cycle begins with required quarterly reports, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s first quarter fundraising report to the Federal Elections Commission shows she raised $380,687 between Jan. 1 and March 31 for her reelection effort. She has $1,353,204 cash on hand.
Murkowski challenger Kelly Tshibaka, who announced her campaign March 29, three days before the end of the reporting period, raised $214,844 in three days.
Former Alaska Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich is the chairman for Kelly for Alaska, Tshibaka’s campaign committee.
Noticeable in Tshibaka’s fundraising report is that the vast majority of her funds came from Alaskans. Tshibaka got more small-dollar donors in her three days than Murkowski got in three months. Murkowski had more checks from political action committees than she did from Alaskans, and five of her Senate colleagues, including Sen. Susan Collins, chipped in to help her with her reelection.
Whether Murkowski will actually run for reelection is still unknown. Earlier this week she told a scrum of D.C. reporters that she is still deciding on whether to go for a fourth term.
“I have been doing everything that a good incumbent does in terms of preserving my options, visiting with Alaskans, spending a lot of time, as much time on the ground as I can, and raising money,” she was quoted as saying.
Of the seven Republican senators who voted to convict President Donald Trump in the 2021 impeachment trial, only Murkowski is up for reelection, and she faces a state of constituents who voted 53 percent for Trump just five months ago. Trump has vowed to focus on removing her from office and many members of his former 2020 campaign team are supporting Tshibaka.
The Alaska Republican Party voted in March to censure Murkowski and find another candidate to run against her. They also asked Murkowski to not run as a Republican in the future.