Murkowski retains cash advantage over Trump-backed prospect

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — U.S. Senator for Alaska Lisa Murkowski continues to have a substantial financial advantage over her opponent backed by former President Donald Trump.

Murkowski, in office since 2002, made more than $1.5 million in the three months ending March 31, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission.

Murkowski ended the quarter with $5.2 million in hand debt-free, records show.

“We are humbled by the overwhelming support our campaign continues to receive,” Murkowski campaign manager Nate Adams said in a statement Thursday when the campaign released its key fundraising numbers.

Republican Kelly Tshibaka, who is challenging Murkowski, raised $673,383 in the last quarter, a total that included donations from a fundraiser at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, at which Trump attended, Tshibaka’s campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told The Associated Press. Friday.

According to FEC records, Trump did not contribute to Tshibaka’s campaign during the quarter, but Murtaugh said Trump donated $5,000 in July. Factcheck.org reported that the donation was made by Trump’s Save America Political Action Committee.

As of March 31, Tshibaka had $967,600 on hand with just over $95,000 in debt.

Murtaugh said not all campaign contributions for the Mar-a-Lago event were recorded this quarter; some arrived during the fourth quarter of 2021.

“Kelly Tshibaka raised more money in the first quarter of 2022 than in the last quarter of 2021 and she will have all the resources she needs to defeat Lisa Murkowski,” Murtaugh said in an email.

FEC records show it raised $601,447 in the last quarter of last year.

“We are very comfortable with the direction this race is taking,” he said.

Trump said he would campaign for Tshibaka after vowing revenge against Murkowski, who voted to convict him in his second impeachment trial and called on Trump to step down after the Jan. 6, 2021, uprising on the U.S. Capitol.

“He said he’s going to a rally for us, and I think that would be great for voter turnout,” Tshibaka told reporters Monday after filing his candidacy in Anchorage.

In addition to Murkowski and Tshibaka, 11 other candidates have so far filed with the state’s Division of Elections to run for the Senate race. None had immediately filed fundraising reports with the FEC on Friday.

Under a new electoral system approved by Alaska voters in 2020, the top four voters in the August primary, regardless of party, will advance to the November general election, where ranked voting will be used.

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