Patricia Chesbro, the chairwoman of the Mat-Su Democrats who filed her paperwork Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission, cited abortion rights as one of the reasons why she joined the contest.
“I don’t know that we can count on her in the choice issue,” the retired educator said of Murkowski, according to Alaska Public Media. “And you can count on me.”
Murkowski has served in the Senate for nearly two decades. She is seeking a fourth term this year.
The Republican released a statement declaring her support for codifying the abortion rights as established by Roe v. Wade in 1973 and affirmed by Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992 after the leak of a draft opinion signaling their reversal.
“I strongly support women’s reproductive freedoms, including the right to abortion established by Roe and Casey. I also believe in limited government and an individual’s liberty to make choices about their own health,” Murkowski said in her statement.
Murkowski helped vote down Wednesday the Women’s Health Protection Act, which she said “goes well beyond the precedent established in Roe and Casey,” and instead touted her legislation introduced in February, the Reproductive Choice Act, which she said “would prevent women’s reproductive choices from being weakened or eliminated” and “reassure women that the rights they have relied on for almost 50 years will continue to be the law of the land.”
Chesbro is the only candidate on the Democratic side of the race for Senate. State Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson previously entered the race before ending her campaign in March, citing how she needed “monumental expenses” to run a successful campaign.
Murkowski, who has raised roughly $7.5 million for her reelection campaign, is facing opposition on the Republican side from Kelly Tshibaka, the commissioner of the state Department of Administration since 2019. Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Tshibaka.
The Washington Examiner reached out to Chesbro and Murkowski for comment.