Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka addresses reporters in Anchorage, Alaska, on Sept. 26, 2019. Republican Tshibaka raised $673,383 last quarter, a total that included donations from a fundraiser at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which Trump attended. As of March 31, 2022, Tshibaka had $967,600 cash on hand with just over $95,000 in debts. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)

Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka addresses reporters in Anchorage, Alaska, on Sept. 26, 2019. Republican Tshibaka raised $673,383 last quarter, a total that included donations from a fundraiser at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which Trump attended. As of March 31, 2022, Tshibaka had $967,600 cash on hand with just over $95,000 in debts. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)

Murkowski maintains cash advantage over Trump-backed hopeful

Republican Kelly Tshibaka, who is challenging Murkowski, raised $673,383 during the last quarter

By MARK THIESSEN

Associated Press

ANCHORAGE — Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski continues to have a substantial cash advantage over her opponent backed by former President Donald Trump.

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

Murkowski ended the quarter with $5.2 million on hand with no debt, the records show.

“We are humbled by the overwhelming support our campaign continues to receive,” Nate Adams, Murkowski’s campaign manager, said in a statement Thursday when the campaign released her top-line fundraising numbers.

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

According to FEC records, Trump didn’t contribute to Tshibaka’s campaign during the quarter, but Murtaugh said Trump donated $5,000 in July. Factcheck.org reported 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 debts.

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

“Kelly Tshibaka raised more money in the first quarter of 2022 than she did 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 she raised $601,447 during the final quarter of last year.

“We are very comfortable with where this race is headed,” he said.

Trump has 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 resign after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

“He said that he’ll come up into a rally for us, and I think that’ll be great for voter turnout,” Tshibaka told reporters Monday after filing for office in Anchorage.

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

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

Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah, left, who say they will vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic nomination to the Supreme Court, smile as they greet each other outside the chamber, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Murkowski continues to have a substantial cash advantage over her opponent backed by former President Donald Trump, who has vowed revenge on the incumbent Alaska Republican. Murkowski brought in more than $1.5 million in the three-month period ending March 31, 2022, according to Federal Election Commission filings. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah, left, who say they will vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic nomination to the Supreme Court, smile as they greet each other outside the chamber, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Murkowski continues to have a substantial cash advantage over her opponent backed by former President Donald Trump, who has vowed revenge on the incumbent Alaska Republican. Murkowski brought in more than $1.5 million in the three-month period ending March 31, 2022, according to Federal Election Commission filings. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

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