Mar 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Murkowski challenger enlists help from Trump's circle

Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images

Former Alaska commissioner Kelly Tshibaka, who announced on Monday that she will challenge Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in next year's Republican primary, has enlisted former Trump associates onto her effort, per Politico.

Why it matters: The hirings — which include Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien — are a sign of the intense opposition to Murkowski from much of Trump's base. Trump has vowed to support any competitor to the Alaska senator, and pledged he will travel to the state to campaign against her.

Details: The consulting firm National Public Affairs, comprised of former Trump campaign staffers, will help oversee Tshibaka's campaign.

  • Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, deputy campaign manager Justin Clark and battleground states director Nick Trainer — who are all with NPA — will serve as senior advisers for Tshibaka.
  • Tim Murtaugh, who was the Trump campaign's communications director — will be Tshibaka's senior communications adviser.

Yes, but: Murkowski has beaten the odds before—in 2010 she became the first senator in more than 50 years to win an election with a write-in campaign, according to Reuters.

Go deeper: Sullivan says he'll back Alaska colleague Murkowski despite Trump threats

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