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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s leadership PAC announced a $7 million ad buy Monday on behalf of Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is fending off a primary challenge from the Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka.
So far, that’s the only Republican primary McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund is getting involved in – with most of the cash being directed to six general election battles starting in September.
‘We don’t seek out opportunities to be involved in primaries,’ Senate Leadership Fund President Steven Law told Politico.
McConnell, however, has made it clear he’s behind Murkowski – who’s held her Alaska Senate seat for 20 years.
The investment is similar to how much she spent on her 2016 re-election campaign, CNN pointed out.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (left) leadership PAC announced a $7 million ad buy Monday on behalf of Alaska’s Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (right)
Former President Donald Trump backed Murkowski’s rival Kelly Tshibaka back in June. Tshibaka has led Alaska’s Department of Administration since January 2019
She’s been on former President Donald Trump’s bad side since last February, when she was among the seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump on the House’s impeachment charges of inciting the January 6 insurrection.
Trump jumped in her Senate re-election race early by announcing his endorsement of Tshibaka back in June.
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 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.
‘Lisa Murkowski is bad for Alaska,’ Trump said in a statement when he announced his ‘Complete and Total Endorsement’ of Tshibaka, adding that he planned to campaign for her in Alaska.
In November, Murkowski announced she would be running for re-election – setting up a Trump-McConnell proxy civil war.
McConnell and Trump had a falling out in the weeks following the 2020 election, after Trump refused to concede.
While McConnell wouldn’t publicly criticize Trump pushing the so-called ‘big lie’ – the ex-president’s false claims that he lost the election due to widespread voter fraud – the Kentucky Republican said that now President Joe Biden was the election winner in mid-December, once the Electoral College met in state capitals to cast their votes.
They haven’t spoken since.
Trump has made a number of high-profile endorsements as of late – including of author J.D. Vance in Ohio and Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, but hasn’t pushed a lot of his fundraising dollars candidates’ way.
He did, however, give $500,000 to PACs trying to remove Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp from his position, Politico reported last week.
Kemp irritated Trump for his unwillingness to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in his state, which Biden won.