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Murkowski and Trump-backed Tshibaka advance to Alaska general election, NBC projects

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is seen within the Capitol during a vote on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and a top Republican primary challenger endorsed by former President Donald Trump will advance to the final election, NBC projects.

Murkowski and Kelly Tshibaka, former Alaska Department of Administration commissioner, will each move forward, together with Democrat Patricia Chesbro, NBC projects. It was too early to call the fourth candidate on this contest.

Alaska has a top-four primary threshold as a part of the state’s ranked-choice voting system, which was adopted through a ballot measure in 2020 — just in time for Murkowski, who was not guaranteed to emerge from Tuesday’s primary race because the clear favorite.

Each Trump and Alaska’s Republican Party have endorsed Tshibaka over the incumbent Murkowski for the Senate seat. Trump had strongly criticized Murkowski while he was president, saying in 2018 that she would “never recuperate” after she voted against his second Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

Trump, the de facto leader of the Republican Party, vowed to campaign against Murkowski after she joined six other Republican senators in voting to convict Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

“I have no idea where other people can be next yr, but I do know where I can be — in Alaska campaigning against a disloyal and really bad Senator,” Trump said on the time.

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