Former President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday he is endorsing GOP Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s reelection bid, as long as Dunleavy refrains from backing Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in her race.
Murkowski was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump earlier this year on a single article of inciting insurrection in connection with the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol. She is the only one of those seven to come up for reelection next year.
Trump did not mention Murkowski’s impeachment vote in an emailed statement from his Save America PAC, which initially stated that Dunleavy “has my Complete and Total Endorsement” before adding that support was “subject to his non-endorsement of Senator Lisa Murkowski who has been very bad for Alaska, including losing ANWAR, perhaps the most important drilling site in the world, and much else.”
“In other words,” Trump emphasized, “if Mike endorses her, which is his prerogative, my endorsement of him is null and void, and of no further force or effect!”
The 45th president endorsed Murkowski’s primary rival Kelly Tshibaka in June and he has vowed to travel to Alaska to personally campaign against the incumbent.
Dunleavy, who has aligned himself closely with Trump since taking office in 2018, is attempting to become the first Republican Alaska governor to win reelection since 1978.
This year, Alaska will conduct nonpartisan “jungle primaries” in its elections. The top four vote-getters will advance from the primary ballot to the November general election, in which ranked-choice voting will be used to determine a winner.
While the former president has repeatedly railed against Murkowski, the senator has overcome challenges from her right flank in the past. In 2010, she became the first senator to win reelection as a write-in candidate after losing the GOP primary to attorney Joe Miller.
Dunleavy’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.