Republican ready for Trump-backed challenge claims road funds
The fate of the $ 550 billion infrastructure package that will soon reach House soil has potential repercussions far beyond the White House and President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party.
After a bipartisan group of senators reached an agreement this summer on rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, the senator. Lisa Murkowski touted the benefits of legislation that would provide funding for transportation projects, she said, are the “lifeline” in connecting remote communities to her vast rural state.
For the Republican of Alaska who alienated many in his party by voting to convict Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, the prospect of record federal dollars headed to the state for highways, bridges, ports maritime and airports is also a salient problem that it hopes to help. she survives a probably tough 2022 election.
âI have always believed that the most effective re-election tool was to be an effective legislator,â Murkowski said in a brief interview on Capitol Hill.
Murkowski, who has not officially declared her candidacy, said she would announce her electoral plans “when I have plans to announce”.
His potential run is one of many in both chambers featuring Republicans critical of Trump who will test whether their legislative prowess and constituent service can counter the former president’s influence on the party base. The competition will be further complicated by a new open primary process.
The Senate infrastructure bill she helped draft has provisions to help Alaskan residents, and the people of the state “love it,” she said, adding that “we have to cross the finish line”.
The infrastructure measure (RH 3684) the passage is not assured, as moderate and progressive Democrats fight to tie it to a larger spending package aimed at strengthening the social safety net. The White House made a late push on Wednesday to settle differences ahead of the vote the leaders plan to hold early next week.
Murkowski is likely to announce his candidacy after the measure is passed and “take a victory lap” in the state, said Jim Lottsfeldt, an Anchorage political consultant who has worked on his previous campaigns.
Murkowski might need all the help he can get to win a full fourth Senate term. The independent-minded moderate who clashed with the former president faces a competitive challenge from Kelly Tshibaka, the former head of the Alaska Administration Department.
Trump’s support for Tshibaka bolstered his reputation. The state Republican Party censored Murkowski for his vote in the impeachment trial and followed Trump’s lead in supporting Tshibaka.
About a third of voters in Alaska “have really rallied around Trump,” Lottsfeldt said, and those voters “will absolutely not vote for Murkowski.” But Murkowski can ultimately win with votes from moderate Republicans, Democrats and Independents in Alaska’s new open primary electoral system, Lottsfeldt said.
McConnell’s Slot Machine
The 19-year-old Senate veteran and daughter of a former senator and governor has joined forces with the minority leader Mitch mcconnell, whose fundraising and strategic assistance could prove invaluable in retaining the seat. The groups linked to McConnell are “a slot machine” to fund campaign ads helping Murkowski, Lottesfeldt said.
The McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) raised and spent nearly $ 500 million to help Republican Senate candidates in the 2020 election. The super PAC approved Murkowski in April, with its president, Steven Law, saying in a statement that “Alaska needs the kind of experienced representation” it provides. The SLF and its affiliates “were instrumental in the Alaska Senate race,” the statement added, noting that it spent $ 6.9 million to help Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) is re-elected in 2020.
Murkowski held an early summer fundraising advantage, with $ 2.3 million in cash. Tshibaka, who took part in the race at the end of March, raised $ 759,000 and had $ 276,000 until June. The third quarter of fundraising ends next week.
Despite occasional breakups with some of his fellow Republicans, Murkowski has shown loyalty to McConnell on key issues, such as Democratic legislation to overhaul election and election laws. After hesitating for months on whether she would support electoral legislation, Murkowski recently voiced concerns that the new compromise bill (P. 2747) drafted by Sen. Joe manchin (DW.Va.) represented “an overreaching of the federal government in state electoral systems,” according to an email from its spokesperson, Karina Borger.
Palin’s Eye Race
Two conservative Republicans, former governor Sarah Palin and lawyer Joe Miller, have said they are considering running. Palin, the vice-presidential running mate of Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) in 2008, Recount a Christian conference in August, she would enter the race for the Senate âGod willingâ.
Murkowski’s tenuous support in the party reached a breaking point in 2010 when Miller rode a wave of support for the Tea Party to defeat her in the Republican primary. She won the general election thanks to a written campaign and support from all political stripes. In 2016, she won with 44% of the vote on a fragmented ballot that included Miller posing as a libertarian.
The states new electoral system, which Murkowski backed in a referendum narrowly passed by Alaskan voters last year, could save the senator from some of the trouble she had in 2010. Candidates from all parties as well as independents compete in the open primary, and the top four advance to the next. tower. In the general election, voters will have the opportunity to nominate second and third choices in a process known as preferential voting.
But the new system might not be enough to save Murkowski, Art Hackney, a veteran Republican consultant in Alaska, said in an email.
“Lisa has an absolute path to her re-election,” he said, “and an absolute path to her replacement.”