JUNEAU — Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is featured in a new ad from Alaska GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan, calling him the partner she needs in Washington, D.C.
Murkowski, who won her contentious 2010 election with a write-in campaign that emphasized Alaska over party politics, last month said she would work hard to get a Republican elected to replace Democratic Sen. Mark Begich. While she has said she and Begich agree on a number of Alaska issues, she also has said they disagree on a number of national issues and has questioned how Alaska has benefited from having a Democratic senator working with a Democratic administration in the White House.
“I’ve yet to see it,” Murkowski told reporters in August.
In the ad, Murkowski said she is disappointed by the “dishonest attacks” on Sullivan and defended work he did as Alaska’s attorney general to combat domestic violence and as Natural Resources commissioner to push back against federal overreach.
“I need a partner in the Senate who will work to advance Alaska’s interests, not the Obama agenda,” she said. “Alaska needs Dan Sullivan.”
Earlier in the campaign, Begich — who has sought to cast himself as an independent voice — ran an ad touting the level of cooperation between him and Murkowski. Attorneys for Murkowski called on the campaign to pull the ad, saying it implied Murkowski’s support.
The Alaska race could help decide control of the U.S. Senate, and Murkowski stands to benefit if Republicans take over. She is in line, for example, to take over leadership of the Senate energy committee.
Begich spokesman Max Croes said Begich has proven he’s willing to work with Murkowski and Republican Rep. Don Young, the third member of the state’s congressional delegation “to accomplish real results for Alaska.” He said in a statement that Sullivan doesn’t share the same beliefs as Begich and Murkowski on abortion and questioned Sullivan’s position on subsistence rights.
Murkowski spokesman Kevin Sweeney said in an email that Murkowski “would prefer that Senator Begich not characterize her views or speak on her behalf, particularly since she clearly spoke for herself in the TV ad and promoted Dan Sullivan’s candidacy.”