Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski didn’t mince words when asked about her thoughts on the embattled president. The Republican Senator has had more than enough of Donald Trump.
“I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” said Murkowski in a press availability at her Capitol office on Friday. Those remarks made her one of the first in a growing chorus of Republican lawmakers who are eager to see the GOP move on from Trump.
As to her own political future, the Anchorage Daily News asked Murkowski about the possibility she might leave the Republican Party and become an independent:
“Well, you know, there’s a lot of people who actually thought that I did that in 2010, think that I became an independent. I didn’t have any reason to leave my party in 2010. I was a Republican who ran a write-in campaign and I was successful. But I will tell you, if the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me,” she said.
Murkowski was appointed to her U.S. Senate seat in 2002 and won a full term in 2004. Six years later, in 2010, she lost the Republican primary to conservative challenger Joe Miller. The senator then waged a remarkable re-election bid as a write-in candidate. Receiving more than 101,000 votes, she comfortably defeated 4 other candidates who appeared on the ballot, including Miller and the Democratic nominee.
Returned to the U.S. Senate, Murkowski remained a Republican and again won re-election in 2016. That race was notable because she again faced off against Joe Miller, but this time he was the Libertarian nominee. Miller captured just shy of 30% of the vote and finished in second place. Democrat Ray Metcalfe ran fourth with just 12%, falling behind independent candidate Margaret Stock’s 13%.
Senator Murkowski will face re-election again in 2022, but Alaska recently adopted a new system for elections that involves open top-four primaries and ranked-choice voting in the general election. This will potentially make it much easier for her to fend off a challenger from within her current party or to seek re-election as an independent.