But she acknowledged that the experience will make her a different kind of senator if she returns to Washington, and called the break from the GOP “really very liberating.”

“I know very well who will have returned me to Washington, D.C., to the United States Senate,” Murkowski said. “And it will be these people in this state and nobody else.”

She skirted the issue when asked what party she would caucus with in the new Congress and said she would be returning to represent “Alaskans interest,” instead of the Republican Party’s.