The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC run by allies of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, endorsed Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.) for re-election on Friday, April 9, 2021.
Murkowski is facing a primary challenge from Alaska commissioner Kelly Tshibaka, a pro-Trump Republican who has hired a number of the former president’s top campaign aides as advisers.
Trump vowed last month to campaign against Murkowski, a moderate who was one of seven Republican senators to vote to convict him in his second impeachment trial.
Trump and McConnell have not spoken since the Jan. 6 Capitol siege. Their rift represents a possible existential crisis for the Republican Party, which is divided between establishment figures like McConnell and Trump-backed populists.
Murkowski was defeated in the 2010 Alaska GOP primary by a Tea Party Republican but ultimately won in the general election as a write-in candidate.
In explaining its endorsement, the Senate Leadership Fund cited Murkowski’s votes for two of Trump’s three Supreme Court appointments, Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett, as well as her vote for the 2017 GOP tax overhaul, among other things.
They stated: “Senator Murkowski has…been a champion for conservative values in Washington. She voted to confirm President Trump’s nominations of Justice Gorsuch and Justice Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, helping to cement a constitutionally conservative majority on the nation’s highest court for years to come. She voted in support of the landmark Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and policies to free businesses from excessive, burdensome regulations.”