Trump-Backed Kari Lake Wins GOP Primary In Arizona Governor’s Race
Kari Lake, Republican gubernatorial candidate for Arizona, speaks during an Election Night Party in Scottsdale, Arizona, US, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. Former President Donald Trump is backing two supporters, Kari Lake for governor, and Blake Masters for a competitive race to unseat Democratic Senator Mark Kelly. Photographer: Caitlin O'Hara/Bloomberg
Caitlin O’Hara/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former television news anchor Kari Lake has won the Arizona GOP primary to be the state’s next governor.

Multiple outlets called the race Thursday evening after a late surge for Lake in Maricopa County, putting her ahead in every county in the state. The New York Times gave Lake the victory with an estimated 88% of the ballots tallied. Lake had nearly 47%. Her closest competitor, Karrin Taylor Robson, won 44% at the time the race was called.

Lake will face Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the Democratic nominee, in the general election.

“Though the results took longer than they should have, Arizonans who have been forgotten by the establishment just delivered a political earthquake. My opponent Katie Hobbs had just one job in government, and that was to ensure an efficiently processed election. She failed spectacularly,” Lake said in a statement. “Arizona just sent a clear message: our state is done with failed politicians like Katie Hobbs.”

Lake is a former TV news anchor who left her local television role in 2020 over the “obvious bias” and “liberal ideology” of the media. Once a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump, Lake came around to supporting him in the 2020 election against President Joe Biden. Lake campaigned on investigating and rectifying the “corrupt and stolen” 2020 election, a message that evidently caught Trump’s interest early as he endorsed her last year.

Lake won in a race that became a proxy battle of influence between Trump and his former vice president, Mike Pence. Both Trump and Pence are reportedly considering 2024 presidential bids. Pence and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey endorsed Robson, who trailed essentially the entire race. An average of polls compiled by RealClearPolitics placed Robson over nine points behind Lake before voting ended Tuesday evening.

The 2020 election took center-stage in the primary battle between Robson and Lake. Lake echoed Trump’s unproven claims about widespread voter fraud being a deciding factor in the 2020 presidential election. Robson said that the media and COVID election law changes “rigged” the election in favor of President Joe Biden, but rejected assertions that outright voter fraud decided Biden’s victory.

Questions over the integrity of Arizona’s 2020 election have split Republicans in the state of Arizona. Republicans in the Senate led by Senate President Karen Fann led an investigation into the results of the election in Maricopa County. The audit’s conclusion supported voter fraud, but the results were contested by other Republican officials, such as Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

Lake raised questions about the integrity of the 2022 Arizona primary election as she took the lead over Robson.

Some of her concerns were backed up by the Republican Party of Arizona and the Republican National Committee, both of which called for Pinal County’s elections director to resign on Tuesday night after polling places in the county ran out of in-person ballots. The elections director, David Frisk, was out of his job on Thursday and replaced by Virginia Ross, the county recorder.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Trump-Backed Kari Lake Wins GOP Primary In Arizona Governor’s Race