Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, heads to a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington. She reported raising almost $1.1 million last quarter. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

Reports show Murkowski with fundraising lead

Tshibaka reported raising just over $465,000.

Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski reported bringing in nearly $1.1 million during the last fundraising quarter, though the Republican has yet to formally announce any reelection plans.

A report filed with the Federal Election Commission, released Friday, showed Murkowski had $3.2 million available as of Sept. 30.

The reporting period covers July through September.

Kelly Tshibaka, a Republican who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, reported raising just over $465,000 and ended the period with about $295,000 on hand.

Sean Thorne, a Libertarian candidate, reported raising about $850 and having about $675 available.

Murkowski was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump during a Senate impeachment trial earlier this year. State Republican party leaders voted to censure her over that vote. Trump was acquitted of a charge of incitement of insurrection related to the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

Tshibaka earlier this year resigned as commissioner of the state Department of Administration to pursue a Senate bid.

The Alaska Department of Public Safety last week said Alaska Wildlife Troopers had issued Tshibaka a $270 citation after an investigation into a video on social media that “showed commercial fishing activity on the Kenai Peninsula.” The citation was for commercial fishing without a commercial fishing crew license, according to an agency statement.

Tshibaka, in a video posted in July on social media sites for her campaign, said she was “enjoying fish camp” with her children. The video showed her on a skiff with others and handling fish.

Tshibaka said she acknowledged the “interpretation of the deciding officials on the commercial crewmember issue and will abide by it,” but she expressed concern with how the law was applied.

“Under no circumstances could I have been defined as commercially fishing. I was not paid, I did not materially assist in the operation, and the fish I touched were not sold,” she said in a statement.

Tshibaka said she bought the outing at an auction and that she and her family were using the opportunity to learn about the fishing operation.

Alaska voters in November approved a new system for elections, doing away with party primaries. The top four vote-getters in a primary will advance to the general election, for which ranked-choice voting will be used.

The state Division of Elections shows nine candidates in the race so far. That doesn’t include Murkowski or Tshibaka, who have by far been the most active in fundraising.

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