Kelly Tshibaka addresses members of the community at Nikiski Hardware & Supply on Friday, April 9, 2021 in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kelly Tshibaka addresses members of the community at Nikiski Hardware & Supply on Friday, April 9, 2021 in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Murkowski ahead in campaign funds; Tshibaka brings in local money

U.S. Senate hopeful Kelly Tshibaka continues to report financial support from residents of the Kenai Peninsula, but falls behind incumbent Lisa Murkowski overall. That’s per the latest round of campaign finance data filed with the Federal Elections Commission.

Murkowski — who announced in November that she would be running for reelection — ended 2021 with about $4.26 million on hand. In all, Murkowksi raised about $6 million in 2021, but spent about $1.78 million during the same time period. That’s compared to Tshibaka, who had about $634,000 at the end of 2021. She raised about $1.8 million and spent about $1.2 million last year.

Tshibaka announced her U.S. Senate bid last March and has since spent time campaigning on the Kenai Peninsula. She made several stops in towns last spring and reported new contributions from peninsula residents in the report filed last month. Among her financial donors are State Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer; Tuckerman Babcock, former chief of staff for Gov. Mike Dunleavy; and Kenai City Council members Jim Glendening and Deborah Sounart.

Between January and September of last year, the largest portion of Tshibaka’s campaign cash came from people in Alaska, but she’s also reported financial support from people in Texas, Virginia, California and Florida. During the same time period, which reflects data from before Murkowski declared her plans to run for reelection, Murkowski reported receiving the largest amount of contributions from people in Texas, followed closely by Alaska, then New York and California.

Tshibaka is the former commissioner of the Alaska Department of Administration and has also worked as the chief data officer for the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General and the acting inspector general of the Federal Trade Commission. She holds a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s from Texas A&M University.

Murkowski was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 2002 to a seat made vacant by the resignation of her father, Frank H. Murkowski, and was successfully elected to the seat in 2004. She received a B.A. in Economics from Georgetown University and Juris Doctor from Willamette College of Law. She served as an attorney with the Anchorage District Court from 1987 to 1989 and in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002.

Libertarian Party candidate Sean Michael Thorne also reported having about $672 at the end of 2021. Thorne reported raising about $2,600 in 2021 and spending about $2,000.

FEC finance data can be viewed at fec.gov.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

Kelly Tshibaka addresses members of the community at Nikiski Hardware & Supply on Friday, April 9, 2021 in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kelly Tshibaka addresses members of the community at Nikiski Hardware & Supply on Friday, April 9, 2021 in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kelly Tshibaka addresses members of the community at Nikiski Hardware & Supply on Friday, April 9, 2021 in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kelly Tshibaka addresses members of the community at Nikiski Hardware & Supply on Friday, April 9, 2021 in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Ashlyn O’Hara / Peninsula Clarion
Kelly Tshibaka addresses members of the community at Nikiski Hardware & Supply on April 9, 2021.

Ashlyn O’Hara / Peninsula Clarion Kelly Tshibaka addresses members of the community at Nikiski Hardware & Supply on April 9, 2021.

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