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Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski Wins Re-Election to U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has won reelection, defeating Kelly Tshibaka, a former Republican state official who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, a tabulation carried out by state officials showed on Wednesday.

Murkowski, 65, has represented Alaska in the Senate since 2002 and has built an independent profile as one of the chamber’s few centrists. Her victory is another setback for Trump, who saw several of his preferred candidates defeated in the Nov. 8 midterm elections.

Murkowski defeated Tshibaka after Alaska finished tabulating all ballots in a publicly broadcast session using its new “ranked choice” system, which allows voters to list candidates in order of preference.

In each round of counting, the candidate with the lowest share of votes is eliminated and the ballots which ranked them first are then redistributed. The candidate with a majority of votes after all ballots have been counted wins.

She would have won even under the old system, as she had a slight edge on Tshibaka after the first round of counting.

Murkowski was the first Republican senator to call for Trump’s resignation after his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. She later voted to impeach him.

She won reelection as a write-in candidate in 2010 after her party nominated a more right-wing contender.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton and Gram Slattery in Washington; editing by Andy Sullivan, Jonathan Oatis, Sandra Maler and Cynthia Osterman)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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