Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, ponders a question at a news conference as she seeks re-election at the state’s senior U.S. Senator. Photo by Margaret Bauman

With hundreds of Alaskans still casting ballots on Tuesday, Nov. 8, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, acknowledged how polarized the general election has been this year on a state and national scale, but expressed optimism that voters would return her for a fourth Senate term.

Murkowski spoke at her re-election campaign headquarters, in the midst of a busy election day schedule that had her sign-waving with supporters at morning rush hour and end of work day intersections in midtown Anchorage.

National and state attention was focused on the race between Murkowski and Republican Kelly Tshibaka, whose campaign is backed by former President Donald J. Trump. 

“Alaskans will speak clearly and return me to the Senate,” she said, forecasting a win over Tshibaka, an attorney who has held positions in several federal agencies and came in second in the state’s primary election. Democrat Pat Chesbro, whose campaign has focused on reproductive health, sustainable economic development and curbing gun violence, was running a distinct third, with media focus on Murkowski and Tshibaka.

Murkowski noted acts of vandalism related to political campaigns that she found disturbing to the point of shocking. “There has been an element that has felt different this year,” she said. “We are better than this.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski sports a gold replica of the snap wrist bracelets created by her husband Vern for her successful write-in campaign to win re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. Photo by Margaret Bauman.

“Things do not have to be so polarized,” said Murkowski, who stated in her campaign ads that she would work with anyone from either party for the good of the state she calls home.

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She and Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, have both reached across the aisle to endorse each other.  Peltola, who won a special election to fill the remainder of the late Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska’s term in the U.S. House, is seeking her first full term of office. 

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