LISA MURKOWSKI/MORE THAN A VOTE
In 2010, she became the first U.S. senator in over 50 years to win an election with a write-in campaign in Alaska, after losing Alaska's Republican primary to Tea Party favorite, Joe Miller.
Winning an election with a write-in campaign, in which voters write in the name of their candidate instead of selecting a name on the ballot, is so rare that the last time a senator won this way was in 1954 in South Carolina. Then-Democrat Strom Thurmond won by a wide margin to become the first senator to win by write-in.
Ms. Murkowski, who has represented Alaska in the U.S. Senate since 2002, has always put her state first, so it came as no surprise to many when she broke ranks with Republicans to vote against the "motion to proceed" to begin the debate on replacing for the Affordable Care Act.
According to the New York Times, Ms. Murkowski told President Trump at a White House private lunch that she wasn't there "to represent the Republican Party." She was there to represent her "constituents and the state of Alaska.”
Alaska stands to lose greatly if the ACA is repealed and replaced. The Center on Budget and Policy Reports stated that Alaska will be among the most harmed states if the ACA is repealed under the Senate health bill, which "reduces tax credits that help people afford individual market health insurance more sharply for Alaskans than for people in any other state, while also cutting Alaska’s Medicaid program deeply and eliminating key benefits for Alaska Natives."
Ms. Murkowski wants a more bipartisan effort to fix the shortcomings of the ACA, not a repeal.
On Monday, she tweeted , "My commitment is to work with all of my colleagues in the Senate to find solutions that benefit all Americans by increasing access and reducing the cost of care."