Republican senator who voted to convict Donald Trump endorses Nikki Haley

Lisa Murkowski, the senior senator from Alaska, becomes the first sitting senator to endorse Haley’s campaign for president

Eric Garcia
Friday 01 March 2024 23:56 GMT
Nikki Haley to stay in GOP presidential race despite South Carolina loss

One of the seven Republican senators who voted to convict Donald Trump for inciting a riot at the US Capitol on January 6 endorsed Nikki Haley’s bid for president.

Lisa Murkowski, the senior senator from Alaska, announced her support for the former governor of South Carolina and US ambassador to the United Nations.

“America needs someone with the right values, vigor, and judgment to serve as our next President—and in this race, there is no one better than her,” Ms Murkowski said in a statement. “Nikki will be a strong leader and uphold the ideals of the Republican Party while serving as a President for all Americans.”

Murkowski is one of only four Republicans left in the Senate who voted to convict Mr Trump after three of them resigned. Utah Senator Mitt Romney, whom Ms Haley supported in the 2012 Republican presidential primary, will retire at the end of the year.

The endorsement comes even though Ms Haley has failed to win a single primary contest. So far, only one member of the US House of Representatives - Representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina - has endorsed her run.

Ms Haley thanked Ms Murkowski for the endorsement.

“Murkowski represents the best of Alaska—she is a trailblazer and a strong, independent voice who doesn’t bow down to the powers that be in Washington,” Ms Haley said in a statement. “As president, I will fight to make Alaskans—and all Americans—proud by restoring fiscal sanity, energy dominance, and limited government.”

Ms Murkwoski has broken with her party on multiple occasions, including on abortion rights. She also voted against Senate Republicans and Mr Trump’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

After her vote to convict Mr Trump, the one-term president endorsed Ms Murkowski’s primary challenger Kelly Tshibaka. But Ms Murkowski won re-election in large part thanks to Alaska’s ranked-choice voting system.

During Joe Biden’s presidency, she voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, gun control and the Respect for Marriage Act, which provided protections for same-sex and interracial married couples.

Ms Murkowski also voted to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court and ranked Democrat Mary Peltola first in the 2022 election.

But she is also a supporter of Alaska’s oil industry and voted for the Trump tax cuts, which allowed for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a major priority for the state’s oil companies. She also voted to make Ms Haley US ambassador to the UN.

Ms Haley has insisted she will stay in the race despite losing her home state of South Carolina to Mr Trump by double digits. She also made a poor showing in Michigan on Tuesday.

Alaska, along with a host of other states, will hold its primary contest next week on Super Tuesday.

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