Central Council endorses Murkowski for U.S. Senate

Lisa Murkowski at AFN 2015
Sen. Lisa Murkowski addresses the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention, Oct. 16, 2015. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO)

The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska has endorsed Sen. Lisa Murkowski for U.S. Senate.

Central Council spokesperson Raeanne Holmes says the organization doesn’t often endorse candidates for political office, though they did endorse Sen. Mark Begich against Dan Sullivan in 2014. Sullivan won. And they supported the so-called Unity Ticket that brought together Bill Walker as candidate for governor and Byron Mallott for lieutenant governor.

Murkowski is running against Margaret Stock, Joe Miller and Ray Metcalfe to keep her seat. She was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 2002 by her father, then-Gov. Frank Murkowski.

The incumbent senator chairs a subcommittee that funds the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service and serves on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

Murkowski also chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The committee has jurisdiction over federal public lands law, including the implementation of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, two laws that are paramount when considering Alaska Native policy issues.

When asked if the tribal organization would be making other endorsements in the November election, Holmes said she hadn’t heard of any but added, “I could tell you very clearly we’re not going to support Trump.”

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