‘Have you watched the other 49?’

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  • Insider asked Lisa Murkowski about Sarah Palin’s candidacy for Congress endorsed by Trump in Alaska.
  • “Take a look at some of the others, because there are people with very good qualifications,” she said.
  • The duo has a checkered history and Palin considered challenging Murkowski for the Senate this year.

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has little to say about her state’s nascent former governor’s bid for Alaska’s at-large congressional district.

“Why don’t you ask an original question?” she joked to Insider, lamenting that “everyone” is asking her about Sarah Palin’s recently announced campaign to succeed the late Republican Rep. Don Young, who held the seat from 1973 until his death this year. in an upcoming special election.

Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate and Tea Party leader who served as governor of Alaska from 2006 to 2009, said she was entering the race after “watching the far left destroy the country “.

And she’s already received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump — a valuable asset in Republican politics, and a sort of payback for her endorsement before the Iowa caucuses during his 2016 presidential run.

“Well, have you looked at the other 49?” Murkowski said when asked by Insider to weigh in on Palin’s campaign. “I’ve had so many questions over the past two days about one female candidate – one in 50 people – who put forward their name to fill the seat of our late congresswoman.”

According to the Anchorage Daily News, as many as 50 candidates have said they are running in the special election. It was initially 51, until one candidate withdrew. The list includes Republican State Senator Josh Revak, former Republican State Senator John Coghill, former Republican Department of Interior official Tara Sweeney, former Independent House candidate Al Gross, Alaska Native Chief Emil Notti and a self-proclaimed socialist North Pole City Council. member named Father Christmas.

“I’m just going to challenge the press to take a look at some of the others, because there are people with very good qualifications,” she added. “We have aboriginal leaders, we have legislators who are in office now and others who are in office before. We have excellent businessmen and women.”

Alaska recently instituted a ranked voting system, with a “jungle primary” taking place on June 11. The special election to succeed Young is the first time the state will use the new system, and Murkowski has indicated she will not. endorse any candidate until this process takes place and the field is narrowed to just four candidates.

“We’ll have the opportunity to rank them, and we’ll have those top four,” Murkowski said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for me, in this kind of weird jungle primary, to tip the scales at this point.”

“It’s your own kind of bubble,” she added. “I’m just telling you, you’re not in the Alaskan bubble, because Alaskans talk about other people.”

Palin and Murkowski have a checkered history. In 2010, Palin backed a Tea Party-style Republican primary challenger against Murkowski who then defeated the senator. But Murkowski miraculously prevailed in the general election thanks to a print campaign in which she ran an ad with a mock spelling telling voters how to spell her name.

Murkowski Write-In: The Spelling Bee from on Vimeo.

And just last year, Palin hinted that she might try to challenge Murkowski for the Senate seat she currently holds. “If God wants me to do it, I will,” she said in August 2021.

But for now, Murkowski stops short of outright criticizing Palin.

“Right,” she replied when asked by a reporter if the Alaskan senator wanted to say how she felt about Palin.

But she also hinted that Palin hasn’t been seen recently in her home country. Asked by another reporter when Murkowski last saw Palin in Alaska, she remained impassive.

“That’s a really tough question, because it’s been years,” she said.

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