Dunleavy accepts Trump’s conditional endorsement; campaign says he will not endorse Murkowski or Tshibaka

Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 2:37 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Gov. Mike Dunleavy has accepted an endorsement made earlier this week by former President Donald Trump for his reelection campaign, on the condition that he does not endorse Sen. Lisa Murkowski in her own race. Dunleavy’s campaign says he will not endorse anyone in that U.S. Senate race.

On Tuesday, Trump announced his endorsement of Dunleavy in his 2022 reelection bid, but it was on the condition that he not endorse Murkowski in her own race for reelection, against her main Republican challenger, Kelly Tshibaka. According to a statement from Trump’s Save America PAC on Friday, Dunleavy accepted and thanked Trump for the endorsement.

“With regard to the other issue, please tell the President he has nothing to worry about,” the statement included in an email from the Save America PAC reads. “I appreciate all 45 has done for Alaska and this country.”

Andrew Jensen, a volunteer spokesperson for the campaign, confirmed Friday that the statement had in fact come from the governor. It was from Dunleavy to a member of Trump’s team, he said.

Earlier this week when the endorsement was announced, Jensen had said Dunleavy would be focusing on his own campaign and not getting involved in other races. On Friday, he said the message from Dunleavy to Trump’s team was still consistent with that message, as he still plans to focus on his own race.

“It means not endorsing Sen. Murkowski, it means not endorsing Tshibaka,” Jensen said.

Jensen said to the extent that Dunleavy is focusing on his own race, the conditions of the endorsement are irrelevant in that Dunleavy will not be making any endorsements in the U.S. Senate race.

Jensen added that Dunleavy thanks the former president for his endorsement.

Dunleavy filed for reelection back in August for a second term. Murkowski’s senate seat is also up for grabs in 2022, and she announced her run for reelection in November.

Tshibaka, Alaska’s former commissioner of the Department of Administration, is challenging Murkowski and has been outspokenly critical of her leadership. Murkowski is seen as one of the more moderate Republican senators, and was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol attack in his impeachment trial.

Trump endorsed Tshibaka in her race against Murkowski back in June, calling her “MAGA all the way.”

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