Alaska U.S. Senate candidate Tshibaka announces plans for fundraiser hosted by Trump

JUNEAU — Kelly Tshibaka, who is running for the Alaska U.S. Senate seat held by fellow Republican Lisa Murkowski, announced plans Wednesday for a fundraiser hosted by former President Donald Trump.

Tshibaka’s campaign provided a copy of an invitation for the fundraiser that shows it is set for February at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

“It’s a great honor to have the endorsement and enthusiastic support of President Trump and I am thrilled that he will be hosting this event,” Tshibaka said in a statement.

Tshibaka, a former commissioner of the state Department of Administration, announced plans to run for the Senate in late March. Murkowski, widely viewed as a moderate, hasn’t formally announced any reelection plans but has been raising money.

Trump endorsed Tshibaka earlier this year, calling her “MAGA all the way.” Murkowski — who was censured by Alaska Republican Party leaders in the spring over multiple votes that broke with GOP leadership — drew Trump’s ire on multiple occasions while he was in office.

Tshibaka has lagged behind Murkowski in quarterly fundraising totals, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Alaska voters last year passed an initiative to end party primaries and institute ranked-choice voting for general elections. Under the system, the top four vote-getters in a primary race, regardless of party affiliation, will advance to the general election.

The state Division of Elections shows nine candidates so far have filed paperwork to appear on the primary ballot. Murkowski and Tshibaka have filed statements of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission but have not yet filed with the state elections office.