Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin Officially Endorses GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s Campaign

Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin Officially Endorses GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s Campaign
A file image of Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) chatting before a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee nomination hearing for former energy lobbyist David Bernhardt to be Interior secretary on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. on March 28, 2019. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)
Katabella Roberts

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on Sunday crossed party lines and officially announced that he is endorsing Republican colleague Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in her bid for reelection for the state’s Senate seat.

Manchin (D-W.Va.) said back in April that he would endorse his GOP Senate colleague—who often breaks from her party on key issues and votes with Democrats—“in a heartbeat” but up until now, he had not officially done so.
Murkowski announced in November that she is running for a fourth term in office “to continue the important work of growing our economy, strengthening our Alaska-based military, and protecting our people and the natural beauty of our state.”

She is the only candidate facing re-election in the midterms this November, and a Democrat has yet to enter the race.

The Republican candidate currently faces GOP primary challenger Kelly Tshibaka, a former Alaska Department of Administration commissioner, who has support from former President Donald Trump as well as Alaska’s Republican party leaders.

But while Tshibaka has raised more than any other candidate opposing Murkowski, she significantly trails the incumbent in fundraising.
“I am endorsing my dear friend, Lisa Murkowski. Alaska could only be so lucky to have her continue to serve them,” Manchin said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” on Sunday.

“She knows I feel that way, too, very strongly,” Manchin continued. “It’s hypocritical to basically work with a person day in and day out, and then when they’re in cycle you’re supposed to be against them just because they have an R or D by their name. If these are good people I’ve worked with, we have accomplished a lot, why in the world wouldn’t I want to work with them and continue to work with them?” he asked.

“It doesn’t matter if I’m a Democrat, and they’re a Republican, or vice versa,” he added. “They’ve been my dear friends, we get a lot accomplished and I think the country has fared better with us working together than not.”

Murkowski, who has been a member of the Senate since 2002, notably opposed Trump on several key issues, voting to convict him during his second impeachment trial in February for his alleged role in stoking the events of Jan. 6 at the Capitol. Trump has denied allegations he incited violence involving some protesters at the Capitol on that day.

Both Murkowski and Manchin have also supported legislation and issues that went against the trends in their parties.

In the past, she stood with Democrats to keep the Affordable Care Act during the Trump administration and was also the only Republican to vote in favor of Biden’s Justice Dept. nominee, Vanita Gupta.

This is not the first time that Manchin, one of the few moderates in his party, has offered campaign support to a Republican candidate.

Back in 2020, he endorsed and offered to campaign for Republican Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

Murkowski said Sunday that she would also support Manchin, who blocked President Joe Biden’s social spending and climate package, due to concerns over inflation, should he choose to run for re-election in 2024.

“If he’s running, I’m endorsing him,” she said.

Meanwhile, Trump has endorsed Tshibaka over Murkowski in the Republican primary, saying that “Lisa Murkowski is bad for Alaska.”

“Kelly Tshibaka is the candidate who can beat Murkowski, and she will. Kelly is a fighter who stands for Alaska values and America First,”  Trump said in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.
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