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Trump officially backs Republican Lisa Murkowski's primary challenger: Ex-president says senator is 'bad for Alaska' and opponent Kelly Tshibaka is tough on the border, crime and 'MAGA all the way'

 Former President Donald Trump formally threw his weight Friday behind Alaska's Commissioner of Administration Kelly Tshibaka, who is challenging Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the 2022 GOP primary. 

'Lisa Murkowski is bad for Alaska,' Trump said in a statement. 'I look forward to campaigning in Alaska for Kelly Tshibaka,' he added, giving her his 'Complete and Total Endorsement.' 

Trump called Tshibaka a 'fighter who stands for Alaska values and America First.' 

'She is MAGA all the way, pro-energy, strong on the Border, tough on Crime and totally supports our Military and our great Vets,' he continued. 'Kelly is a powerful supporter of the Second Amendment and JOBS!' 

Former President Donald Trump officially threw his weight behind Alaska's Commissioner of Administration Kelly Tshibaka, who is challenging Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the 2022 GOP primary

Former President Donald Trump officially threw his weight behind Alaska's Commissioner of Administration Kelly Tshibaka, who is challenging Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the 2022 GOP primary

Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka got former President Donald Trump's endorsement in the Alaska Senate GOP primary on Friday. Tshibaka announced she would challenge GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski in late March

Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka got former President Donald Trump's endorsement in the Alaska Senate GOP primary on Friday. Tshibaka announced she would challenge GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski in late March

Trump hammered Sen. Lisa Murkowski for voting to confirm President Joe Biden's Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. In the statement Friday, he didn't mention she voted to convict him of inciting an insurrection, but he's vowed to take down Republicans who didn't vote in his favor

Trump hammered Sen. Lisa Murkowski for voting to confirm President Joe Biden's Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. In the statement Friday, he didn't mention she voted to convict him of inciting an insurrection, but he's vowed to take down Republicans who didn't vote in his favor 

Trump said he was against Murkowski because she voted in favor of President Joe Biden's pick to head the Interior Department, Secretary Deb Haaland. 

Haaland has said she is against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which Trump pointed out, saying Murkowski's vote for the former Democratic congresswoman was a vote against Alaskan jobs.  

'Murkowski has got to go!' Trump said. 

Left out of the statement was the fact that Murkowski was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump of inciting the January 6 insurrection during his second impeachment trial.

He has vowed to take out those Republicans who didn't tow the party line. 

Trump is making good on that promise with a planned June 26 revenge rally outside of Cleveland in support of Congressional candidate Max Miller, a former Trump administration staffer, who is running to unseat GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, another Republican who voted in favor of his impeachment.  

Tshibaka jumped into the Alaska Senate race in late March. 

By then, Trump had already told Politico he would 'not be endorsing, under any circumstances, the failed candidate from the great State of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski.'    

'She represents the state badly and her county even worse,' Trump said. 'I do not know where other people will be next year, but I know where I will be - in Alaska campaigning against a disloyal and very bad Senator.'  

Tshibaka, whose run was first reported by Fox News, said she was running to represent a 'new generation of Alaska conservatives.'

Her stances include being tough on immigration, pro-Second Amendment and anti-abortion. 

Tshibaka is an Alaska native and went to high school in the state before attending Texas A&M University and then Harvard Law School, according to the Anchorage Daily News, who shared a copy of her resume when she was appointed by Alaska's governor to lead the Department of Administration in January 2019. 

She spent nearly 17 years in the Washington, D.C. working for the federal government under the Bush 43, Obama and Trump administrations. 


Tshibaka's website describes her as a 'fighter' who exposed 'waste, fraud and abuse' working for nearly 17 years in Washington, D.C.

Tshibaka's website describes her as a 'fighter' who exposed 'waste, fraud and abuse' working for nearly 17 years in Washington, D.C. 

Images from Kelly Tshibaka's Facebook page depict Murkowski, a Republican, as a 'LIBERAL' who stands with the 'radical left'

Images from Kelly Tshibaka's Facebook page depict Murkowski, a Republican, as a 'LIBERAL' who stands with the 'radical left' 

Tshibaka worked for the office of inspector general for the U.S. Postal Service, the Federal Trade Commission, the Director of National Intelligence and the Justice Department. 

The Anchorage Daily News also reported that she and her husband Niki are pastors and launched the Lighthouse Fellowship during their time in D.C. 

On her campaign website, Tshibaka describes herself as a 'fighter.' 

'I fought hard to be the first in my family to pursue a college degree and attend law school. I fought to expose waste, fraud and abuse in government, and I’ll bring that same fight to the US Senate where I will always defend Alaska values,' Tshibaka said.

Murkowski hasn't officially kicked off a 2022 re-election bid but she's fought off Republican challengers before. 

In 2010, when former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin backed Murkowski's Tea Party challenger Joe Miller, Murkowski lost the Republican primary, but still won the general election race by mounting a successful write-in campaign. 

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