Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) holds a press conference at her campaign headquarters on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Senator Lisa Murkowski won re-election in Alaskawhich handed former President Donald Trump another loss in what has been a largely miserable midterm cycle for his personally handpicked candidates in competitive Senate races.
Murkowski, one of only seven Republicans who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial, survived a challenge from Trump-backed Kelly Tshibak, a former commissioner of the Alaska Department of Administration, in the state’s first Senate election, which he decided. ranked voting.
Rather than limiting voters to a single choice, the format allows candidates to be ranked in order of preference. Neither Murkowski nor Tshibaka, the top two vote getters first round of the Nov. 8 general election, had a majority after the first ballot was written, triggering Wednesday’s runoff in which ballots containing eliminated candidates were redistributed for the elector’s next election.
Murkowski, Tshibaka, Democrat Patricia Chesbro and Republican Buzz Kelley advanced for nonpartisan August primary. Kelley later withdrew and endorsed Tshibaka, but remained on the ballot. Wednesday’s runoff began with second-choice votes from those who preferred Kelley in last place scattered among the remaining three candidates. Chesbro was the next to be eliminated, and second-choice votes from her ballots helped Murkowski cross the threshold.
From the beginning, the race has largely focused on the two leading Republicans and their relationships with Trump.
Tshibaka had, for example made waves by pledging not to support another Trump failure, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for another term as Senate GOP leader if elected.
Murkowski became a target of the right after he emerged as the rare Republican official willing to criticize Trump and ultimately condemn him for what it saw as his incitement to a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Alaska Republican Party conviction she and Trump began calling her the “Alaska disaster” and eventually backed Tshibaka to challenge her.
Murkowski is also known for her moderate profile in the Senate and her willingness to work with Democrats. She was one of only three Republicans who voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in April. She has supported her party in other major votes during the Trump administration, voting with Democrats and a handful of other Republicans to block GOP attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. In recent campaign advertising Summing up her closing remarks, Murkowski vowed to “work with anyone, from any party, to advance Alaska’s priorities.”
Supporters of ranked-choice voting, a system that gained national attention for its use in last year’s New York City mayoral election, trust the setup favors moderate candidates who don’t play to the fringes of either party and work hardest to appeal to the widest possible group of people.