Murkowski faces Tshibaka and Chesbro in Alaska Senate debate

Oct 28, 2022, 12:25 AM | Updated: 4:15 pm
United States Sen. Lisa Murkowski, left, a Republican, looks on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022, prior to a...

United States Sen. Lisa Murkowski, left, a Republican, looks on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022, prior to a U.S. Senate debate in Anchorage, Alaska. She faces Republican Kelly Tshibaka, center, and Democrat Pat Chesbro, right, in the general election. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

(AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Alaskans want results, not “partisan political rhetoric,” as she faced her Donald Trump-backed Republican rival Kelly Tshibaka in a televised debate Thursday. Tshibaka questioned the value of Murkowski’s seniority and said it’s time for a change.

Murkowski “cannot accomplish in the next six years what she hasn’t been able to accomplish in the last 21 years,” Tshibaka said.

Murkowski, who has held the seat since late 2002 and is the most senior member of Alaska’s congressional delegation, said the race is about “who can best deliver for Alaska.” Murkowski pointed to and defended her record.

The debate, held less than two weeks before the Nov. 8 ranked choice election, also included Democrat Pat Chesbro, who has significantly trailed Murkowski and Tshibaka in fundraising. The other candidate on the ballot, Republican Buzz Kelley, who finished fourth in the August primary, last month suspended his campaign and endorsed Tshibaka.

Trump, who came to Alaska in July for a rally with Tshibaka and Republican Sarah Palin, whose House run he’s endorsed, participated in a tele-rally for Tshibaka earlier this week. He called Murkowski “one of the worst senators even imaginable.” He criticized her for voting for the “insane impeachment” and for opposing the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Murkowski, who has a reputation as a centrist, was censured by state Republican party leaders last year for reasons including her criticism of Trump and vote to convict him during his second impeachment trial last year. He was acquitted.

State party leaders endorsed Tshibaka’s campaign.

Murkowski has said that while she’s a lifelong registered Republican she does not “pledge allegiance to a party.” She has emphasized a willingness to work across party lines and in campaign ads used the tag: “I’m for Alaska, always.”

Murkowski recently said she planned to rank U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, a Democrat, first in the race for Alaska’s only House seat, a decision criticized by Tshibaka.

Peltola won an August special election for the seat that was held for 49 years by Republican Rep. Don Young, who died in March. Peltola, who served in the state Legislature with Murkowski, said she planned to rank Murkowski first on her ballot, too.

The wide-ranging debate touched on topics including the Arctic, the nation’s COVID-19 pandemic response and protecting youth from gun violence.

Murkowski defended bipartisan legislation passed earlier this year that she said helps address school security and mental health resources. The measure also “ensures that we are still able to provide for our Second Amendment protections while making sure that those who should not be possessing guns do not have them,” she said.

Under the bill, there will be money to help states enforce so-called red flag laws that help authorities temporarily take guns from people considered threatening and for other states’ violence prevention programs. Murkowski’s office, when the bill passed, labeled as a myth any suggestion that the measure “forces states” that don’t have red flag laws to adopt them.

Tshibaka’s campaign has said red flag laws “can be abused.” And she said Thursday that she would not have voted for the measure she called “extreme.” She said she would like to see more funding for school and mental health counselors.

Chesbro, a former educator, suggested looking at ways to ensure gun owners have their guns locked up.

Chesbro asked Murkowski during the debate how she would change her approach to confirming U.S. Supreme Court justices, noting that Murkowski had voted to confirm justices who earlier this year overturned Roe v. Wade. Murkowski, after a draft of the opinion was leaked, said her “confidence in the court has been rocked.”

Murkowski has expressed support for Roe and abortion rights with limits.

Murkowski called the confirmation process “broken. We are not evaluating nominees based on their competence, their qualifications, their temperament, their independence. We are evaluating them based on what president appointed them.”

She said she takes the evaluation process seriously. “We have got to get back to actually evaluating the criteria, the qualifications, of these nominees,” Murkowski said.

Chesbro, who supports abortion rights, said the “Supreme Court of the land should be the most fair, the most dependable court in the land.” She said she’s worried the court is “unbalanced.”

Tshibaka said she will support “constitutionalist nominees for the Supreme Court, regardless of which president appoints them. I think that the process is fine.”

___

Follow AP’s coverage of the elections at: https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections

Check out https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections to learn more about the issues and factors at play in the 2022 midterm elections.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni departs Algiers after a two day official visit in Algeria, Mo...
Associated Press

Italy’s premier visits Libya for talks on energy, migration

CAIRO (AP) — Italy’s prime minister arrived in Libya on Saturday for talks with officials from the country’s west-based government that will focus on energy and migration, top issues for Italy and the European Union. Libya is the third North African country that Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has visited over the last two weeks as […]
4 hours ago
FILE  - A view of a Flybe flight departing from Manchester Airport, Manchester, England, Jan. 13, 2...
Associated Press

Flights canceled as UK airline Flybe sinks into bankruptcy

LONDON (AP) — Struggling U.K. regional airline Flybe collapsed for the second time in three years Saturday, putting jobs on the line and leaving passengers stranded. The airline initially slumped into bankruptcy in March 2020, shedding 2,400 jobs, as coronavirus restrictions decimated the travel industry. It relaunched in April last year, flying many of the […]
4 hours ago
CORRECTS THE PHOTOGRAPHER'S NAME TO KWIYEON HA - Staff of Kyodo Senpaku Co. holds canned whale meat...
Associated Press

Japan firm opens whale meat vending machines to push sales

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — A Japanese whaling operator, after struggling for years to promote its products amid protests from conservationists, has found a new way to cultivate clientele and bolster sales: whale meat vending machines. The Kujira (Whale) Store, an unmanned outlet that recently opened in the port town of Yokohama near Tokyo, houses three […]
1 day ago
The Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06 passes the High Class Racing ORECA LMP2 07 in a turn during a p...
Associated Press

IMSA takes North American sports cars into hybrid era

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Cadillac growls, while the Porsche and BMW scream. The Acura sounds like an Indy car, and for fun, turn your back to the track and listen carefully as the cars roar around Daytona International Speedway in a new era of IMSA sports car racing. The top prototype class has […]
1 day ago
A new Jeep is delivered to a dealership in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. On Friday, the Comm...
Associated Press

US inflation and consumer spending cooled in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge eased further in December, and consumer spending fell — the latest evidence that the Fed’s series of interest rate hikes are slowing the economy. Friday’s report from the Commerce Department showed that prices rose 5% last month from a year earlier, down from a 5.5% year-over-year […]
1 day ago
Mass timber affordable home prototypes are shown at the Port of Portland in Portland, Ore. Friday, ...
Associated Press

Oregon pins hopes on mass timber to boost housing, jobs

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Inside a warehouse at the industrial Port of Portland lies what some believe could be the answer to Oregon’s housing crisis — a prototype of an affordable housing unit made from mass timber. Once mass-produced at the factory being planned at the port, the units ranging from 426 square feet (40 […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
Murkowski faces Tshibaka and Chesbro in Alaska Senate debate