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)

Tshibaka reports financial support from peninsula residents

Tshibaka has raised nearly $215,000 for her campaign since the beginning of this year in total receipts.

Kelly Tshibaka, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowksi for her Senate seat in the 2022 election, has raised nearly $215,000 for her campaign since the beginning of this year.

That’s according to quarterly finance reports filed with the U.S. Federal Elections Commission, which reflect contributions candidates received between Jan. 1, 2021 and March 31, 2021. Incumbent U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski reported about $2.36 million during the same time period and had about $1.35 million in cash on hand as of March 31.

The 2022 election cycle is shaping up to be another record-breaking season for political fundraising, according to analysis by OpenSecrets. Several candidates nationwide have already broken records this season, despite being just three months in.

Tshibaka has raised nearly $215,000 for her campaign since the beginning of this year in total receipts, which refers to the sum of all contributions and other receipts received by a committee during a filing period. That includes about $180,000 in itemized individual contributions and just over $25,000 from peninsula residents.

Tshibaka campaigned in several cities on the Kenai Peninsula earlier this month, including Soldotna, Nikiski and Homer. Tshibaka used her time on the peninsula to speak to voters about her conservative values and her work in government and to answer questions from voters.

She said during a stop at Nikiski Hardware and Supply that she suspects Murkowski will raise around $30 million for her campaign. Tshibaka said that during their face off for the U.S. Senate, Dan Sullivan had raised about $19 million, while his challenger Al Gross raised about $34 million.

“I think we’re going to need between $20 [million] and $30 [million] to do this,” Tshibaka said during that stop. “We’re going to need as much money as it takes to get the name recognition out there. We’ve got to beat 40 years of name recognition.”

Tshibaka said the specific challenges she expects her campaign will face include support for Murkowski from “a D.C. machine funding her,” including prominent Republican lawmakers and political action committees.

Tshibaka announced last month that she would be resigning from Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration to launch her 2022 U.S. Senate campaign. She previously served as Dunleavy’s commissioner of the Department of Administration and has also worked as the chief data officer for the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General, the acting inspector general of the Federal Trade Commission, served as legal counsel to the Inspector General of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and performed reviews at the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. Tshibaka holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from Texas A&M University.

Donations from residents of peninsula cities, which include Anchor Point, Homer, Kasilof, Kenai, Nikiski and Soldotna, account for about 25% percent of Tshibaka’s total Alaska itemized individual contributions, which total over $97,000. Donations have also come from Alaskans in Anchorage, Eagle River, Fairbanks and Wasilla, among others.

Campaign finance data can be viewed at fec.gov.

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

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