Who Is Lisa Murkowski's Husband? New Details On Verne Martell​

Photo: getty
who is Lisa Murkowski's husband

Since 2002, Lisa Murkowski has served as a United States Senator from Alaska, eventually becoming the state’s senior Senator in 2009. She and Senator Susan Collins are both described as “moderate” Republicans. In fact, she and Collins are two of the most important swing votes that will determine whether or not Brett Kavanaugh has a chance of being confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Before being elected to the Senate, she served in the Alaska House of Representatives, being elected Majority Leader. What’s even more fascinating is that in running for re-election in 2010, she became the second U.S. Senator to win by a write-in vote! She’s served a total of three terms in the Senate since her first election.

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Since she’s from Alaska and has to be in Washington, D.C. for about one-third of the year, we’re wondering just how her family deals with her time away from home. But just who is Lisa Murkowski's husband? How does he handle his wife being absent when Senate is in session? Here are 5 things to know about Verne Martell.

1. He’s a former small business owner.

Martell once owned the pasta manufacturing business, Alaska Pasta Company, for 27 years, manufacturing for wholesale. The company was so small that it rarely had more than one employee. Wow! He eventually sold the company, but Murkowski said, “it came back to him.”

2. They married in 1987.

Photo: Getty

The couple wed in the late 80s and have two children together, sons Nicolas and Matthew. Matthew seems to be following in his father’s footsteps because after graduating from Western State Colorado University with a degree in business, he wanted to take over Martell’s pasta business.

According to Murkowski, “My son says, ‘Hey, I just graduated with a degree in business. I don’t want to work for anybody else. I want to buy the pasta company.’ Well, you work your way into it by starting out small. Ever since the second Sunday in May now, he has been selling his pasta at the South Anchorage Farmers Market. He’s trying to make money so he doesn’t want to pay anybody to come and help him. So I’m a good mom and I am there helping him.” Now that is some family support.

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3. He played a role in her election.


A post shared by Senator Lisa Murkowski (@senlisamurkowski) on Jan 26, 2018 at 9:30am PST

Talks about a supportive husband! Martell encouraged Murkowski to start her career in politics while he looked after their two now-grown sons. And back in 2010, he was also responsible for helping her campaign by creating blue wristbands. The campaign produced about 75,000 of the wristbands to show solidarity among voters and supporters. Murkowski won that election with write-in votes.

4. They keep politics out of their marriage.


A post shared by Senator Lisa Murkowski (@senlisamurkowski) on Aug 22, 2018 at 7:25am PDT

Being in the spotlight can be damaging, but the couple makes sure to keep things at home calm and peaceful. “It’s gotten harder with the strangeness of politics right now. Because he’s got his opinions, too. And I just sometimes — well, not sometimes, most times — when I come home, I am just, I don’t really want to talk about politics. I want to talk about the flooring that you laid in the living room today,” Murkowski said.

5. They found themselves under scrutiny for buying land.


A post shared by Senator Lisa Murkowski (@senlisamurkowski) on Jul 30, 2018 at 8:12am PDT

Back in 2007, the couple bought an undeveloped lot of riverfront property in Alaska, for which there was pushback. According to a complaint to the Senate ethics committee, the purchase was “a sweetheart deal.” The couple paid $179,000 for the land, which is located along the Kenai River, southwest of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula. Real estate agents said the land could have been sold for roughly $350,000.

Though they planned to build a home there, she sold the land back for the same price. “It was a judgment call that I made that allowed me and my husband to undergo a level of criticism that I believe is unfounded but has caused people to question me. I’m not willing to compromise that trust for any piece of property,” Murkowski said.

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Samantha Maffucci is an associate editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.