Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced Friday that she is seeking reelection to the seat she has held since 2002. 

Fresh from a win on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is turning her sights on the next big challenge: the 2022 Senate race.

Murkowski announced Friday she will seek reelection to the seat she has held since 2002.

Murkowski disclosed her decision as she celebrated a victory on a bipartisan infrastructure bill that will deliver to Alaska billions of dollars in new capital projects.

“I’m running for reelection,” she said in a campaign video released Friday. “In this election, Lower 48 outsiders are going to try to grab Alaska’s Senate seat for their partisan agendas. They don’t understand our state and frankly, they couldn’t care less about your future. My commitment to Alaska is the same one I made during my first campaign.”

She also expressed her commitment to Alaska. “I will work with anyone from either party to advance Alaskans’ priorities, and I will always stand up to any politician or special interest that threatens our way of life,” she said.

Murkowski’s announcement prompted a flurry of national news coverage that is likely to continue through the primary election, where she will face a Trump-backed challenger.

Political observers see the primary race as a litmus test for the influence of former President Donald Trump with Republican voters in Alaska.

Trump endorsed attorney Kelly Tshibaka, describing the political newcomer as “MAGA all the way.” He has vowed to defeat Murkowski, after her vote to convict him on insurrection charges after the Capitol riot.

Tshibaka worked in Washington, D.C., for 16 years before returning to Alaska in 2019. Her campaign has received assistance from members of Trump’s former campaign team, Politico reported earlier this year.

Murkowski has the endorsement of U.S. Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, who also is backing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Trump has attacked both candidates for disloyalty.

Murkowski also will receive the backing of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which Scott chairs. “We support all of our incumbents,” Scott said in a TV interview. “And fortunately for us, we’ve got great candidates running in our primaries.”

Contact Linda F. Hersey at 907-459-7575 or at lhersey@newsminer.com. Follow her at twitter.com/FDNMpolitics.

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