Chesbro, Murkowski, Tshibaka square off for Alaska’s U.S. Senate seat

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 7:10 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Patricia Chesbro, incumbent Lisa Murkowski and Kelly Tshibaka are running for U.S. Senator from Alaska.

Chesbro said she believes the values she holds are similar to many Alaskans. “I think any decision that we make needs to weigh its effect on young people, and I’m including things like the language that we use. We have become a divided nation, and we are not reluctant at all to call people names, to make up stories about people,” she said.

Gun violence around the country needs to be curbed, according to Chesbro. She said, “The leading cause of death among young people is gun violence, and in that, suicide is even more deadly than homicide, and we need to figure out how we’re going to save our children.”

According to Chesbro, rights are being diminished rather than expanded in the U.S., including reproductive rights. “I think there’s threats to contraception. I think there’s threats to a variety of things. I certainly think there’s a threat to children’s navigation of their gender identities. I have concerns with taking away the right of same-sex couples to marry or to adopt children.”

Incumbent Lisa Murkowski is seeking reelection to the seat. She’s running to continue her efforts to represent Alaska’s interests. “People in this state are focused on the high cost of living in a place like Fairbanks in the Interior where your energy costs are so high. They’re worried about inflation and what that means. They’re worried about making sure that there’s jobs and a good economic base for them and their family.”

Murkowski mentioned as priorities, affordable housing and an increased arctic presence. “We’re seeing activity from Russia that I think we know to be paying attention to, whether it’s their bombers that are getting far too close, or when you see a naval exercise between the Russians and the Chinese.”

She would like to oversee the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. “One of the things I want to really focus on is making sure that as we move forward in these next four years, that Alaskans are able to gain access to these federal resources so that we can continue to make the investments, the priority investments in this state.”

Kelly Tshibaka is also vying for U.S. Senator. Tshibaka says she was spurred to run by Murkowski’s vote to approve Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. “That single vote just cancelled countless jobs across the state, like the one my mom had, and it’s not just my mom’s job, it’s so many Alaskans’ jobs, and that’s our ability to put food on the table and a roof over our head or send our kid to college, families’ ability to work out of poverty into the working class, and I just took it personally, and I thought ‘Who’s fighting for us?’”

Tshibaka wants the people of Alaska to have a voice in the senate that represents them. “I believe that Alaska can power America. I believe we can advance America with our minerals. We build America with our timber. We feed America with our fish. We can protect America with our national security posture. Of course, we inspire America with our tourism,” Tshibaka said.

She wants the government to work more efficiently and effectively. “The top priority that I hear from Alaskans is we have to get our economy back up and running. We’ve got to bring inflation. We have to have more of our jobs filled and up and running here. Our industries need to be booming, our resource industries, and we need to bring more jobs and development to Alaska. That is a top priority for me.”

Chesbro, Murkowski and Tshibaka are joined by Buzz Kelley on the general election ballot. However, Kelley has suspended his campaign, and is encouraging his supporters to vote for Tshibaka.