Governor Takes Trump's Conditional Endorsement

Offer is good as long as Dunleavy doesn't back Murkowski
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2022 4:22 PM CST
Governor Takes Trump's Conditional Endorsement
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, arrives at the Capitol in Washington last month for a vote.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy told former President Donald Trump just what he wanted to hear on Thursday, as the two cut a political deal in the open. "Please tell the President thank you for the endorsement," the Republican governor said in a statement, CNN reports. "With regard to the other issue, please tell the President he has nothing to worry about." Trump's worry was that Dunleavy would endorse Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican seeking reelection this year. Murkowski voted to convict Trump in his Senate trial over his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol. Dunleavy is also on the ballot, in the governor's race.

Trump had issued a statement Tuesday saying Dunleavy is within his rights to endorse Murkowski, but if he does, the former president's endorsement will become "null and void." After Dunleavy accepted the terms, Trump said in a statement, "This is why Mike Dunleavy has been, and will be, a great governor," per the Hill. Trump is backing Kelly Tshibaka in the GOP primary against Murkowski. Republican leaders in Alaska had warned that Trump's strings-attached endorsement of Dunleavy could needlessly divide the state party, per Slate. (More Alaska Senate race stories.)

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