Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) likely made her primary election coming up on August 16 more difficult than it was already shaping up to be thanks to her recent compromise vote for gun control measures in the Senate.
Murkowski began her campaign on a platform of strong support for Second Amendment rights before voting for expanded background checks, reg flag laws incentives, and other gun control measures demanded by Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
In a Facebook ad from earlier this year, she said, “Democrats want to take away your right to bear arms,” and asked voters to contribute to her campaign to “stand up to the radical left.”
Kelly Tshibaka is a leading Murkowski challenger in the GOP primary and has been calling out the senator’s change in position as hypocritical for weeks. Tshibaka is endorsed in the primary by President Donald Trump.
In a media statement last month, Tshibaka said Murkowski demonstrates “time after time” why people on both sides of major issues “just don’t trust her.” She said the senator is one person at home in Alaska where she sends out an image of being a strong Second Amendment advocate. However, she said when the senator is back in Washington she always sides “with the elites and insiders.”
The statement followed shortly after Murkowski agreed to vote for the gun control bill that was then eagerly signed into law by Biden on June 25.
Tshibaka added in her statement that firearm ownership is “part of who we are as Alaskans,” and said that after 21 years of Murkowski in the Senate “it’s time for a change.”
She also said that while mental health problems definitely need to be addressed, she will never support red flag laws that can be “easily abused to improperly deny lawful gun ownership to citizens.”
President Trump said in his statement endorsing Tshibaka that she is a “powerful supporter” of Second Amendment rights.
Alaska is holding an open primary this year, with the top four candidates advancing to the general election regardless of party affiliation. That virtually ensures that Murkowski, Tshibaka, and two other candidates will face off in November for the next six-year term in the Senate from the state.
Trump is holding a Save America rally on Saturday evening in Anchorage to campaign for Alaskan candidates he has endorsed, including Tshibaka and GOP House candidate Sarah Palin.