Trump-Backed Alaska Senate Candidate Criticizes McConnell for Massive Spending Boost for GOP Opponent

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Kelly Tshibaka, a Republican who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump for the Alaska Senate race, has criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for her midterm defeat.

“It is regrettable that Sen. Mitch McConnell spent millions of dollars in this race on deceptive ads to secure what he wanted—a Senate minority that he can control, as opposed to a majority that he could not,” Tshibaka said in a statement. “Donors’ money would have been better spent in other states to elect more Republicans that would have secured a majority in the Senate.”

“In the end, however, our Alaska U.S. Senate election turned out to be another victory for the Washington, D.C. insiders who rarely have our best interests at heart,” Tshibaka added.

Tshibaka conceded the election on Wednesday after Alaska’s Division of Election announced rank-choice election results. Incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski won with 53.69 percent, or 135,972 votes, to Tshibaka’s 46.31 percent, or 117,299 votes.

Murkowski’s successful reelection bid was bolstered by the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), a political action committee with close ties to McConnell. The super PAC spent more than $5 million supporting Murkowski and attacking Tshibaka.

McConnell’s decision to support Murkowski has been criticized by Trump. In October, Trump took to his Truth Social account to say it was “ironic” that McConnell had chosen to spend millions to support Murkowski—whom the former president labeled as “barely” a Republican—instead of using the money on GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters in Arizona or other Republican candidates.

Murkowski drew the ire of Trump when she was one of seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict him after he was impeached over the Capitol breach on Jan. 6, 2021.

Tshibaka, the former director of Alaska’s Department of Administration, said before the November election that she would not support McConnell as Senate leader. Meanwhile, Murkowski has vowed to support McConnell for Senate leadership.

By Frank Fang

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