Former far-right combative TV presenter Kari Lake wins GOP Nod for Arizona governor


Kari Lake, the former television news anchor who built a campaign to denigrate the media as propagandists and promote lies about the 2020 election, won the GOP nomination for governor of Arizona on Thursday night.

Lake will take on Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the state’s chief election officer, in November, staging a showdown billed as a Holocaust denier versus an election advocate.

The former Trump-backed primetime anchor for a Phoenix Fox affiliate beat Karrin Taylor Robson, a property developer and attorney endorsed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, on a time-limited beatdown.

Taylor Robson had an early lead after polls closed on Tuesday, but Lake raced ahead overnight as Election Day votes were tallied. On Wednesday morning, Lake led by less than 12,000 votes.

Lake gave a confident speech to supporters on his election night in Scottsdale while casting unfounded doubt about the electoral system, the Arizona Republic reported.

“I wanted to come here tonight [and] say, ‘Wow, we already have the final results,’” she said. “But we know how our electoral systems work and they don’t work well. And that’s one of the reasons I’m here.

The GOP primary for governor was seen as a proxy war between Trump and Ducey, who became enemies after Ducey certified Joe Biden’s election. Lake said as governor she wouldn’t have done the same in 2020, frequently calling the election “corrupt” and “stolen.” Joe Biden was the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry Arizona in 24 years.

Trump campaigned for Lake last month, calling her a “really great woman” at the rally on the same day Pence, widely seen as gearing up for his own 2024 presidential campaign against Trump, campaigned for Taylor Robson.

A minor celebrity in Arizona’s biggest media market, Lake enjoyed a strong lead in the polls, but the race narrowed after Ducey’s endorsement. Taylor Robson also contributed more than $15 million of her own fortune to the race.

The game was heavily nationalized around Trump in a diversifying state facing a water crisis and concerns over border security.

“[Taylor Robson] has a narrative about his campaign, which is markedly different from Lake’s narrative. The only thing Lake talks about is stolen elections, Trump and immigration. Karrin has a more nuanced narrative and expresses a more confident attitude toward governance that Republican voters would be expected to respond to,” GOP strategist Chuck Coughlin told HuffPost ahead of the primary.

“But how high is the fever for Trumpism still within the Republican Party? It’s a risky bet.

Karrin Taylor Robson, a real estate developer and attorney, lost the GOP nomination for governor of Kari Lake. Taylor Robson had been endorsed by outgoing Governor Doug Ducey.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

This is Lake’s first run for political office after a three-decade career as a television news anchor.

After what former colleagues described to HuffPost as several difficult years that roughly aligned with Trump’s presidency — when she began using the far-right social media platforms Parler and Gab — Lake has quit the station in 2021 and launched his gubernatorial campaign soon after. . Before swinging sharply to the right, Lake was a Barack Obama supporter and reportedly shared a “not my president” meme about Trump before his inauguration.

Since leaving the media, Lake has called people in her former profession “corrupt” and “rotten”, and said some journalists deserve to be locked up.

Lake campaigned alongside Mark Finchem, a Republican state senator who shares his fringe views on the 2020 election and has the endorsement of a number of far-right figures linked to Trump. Democrats who see this as a liability had propelled Lake into the primary in hopes of having an easier opponent to beat in November.

But with a Republican governor and a GOP-controlled legislature and two Democratic U.S. senators, Arizona is known for its independent streak, giving each party a chance to win as Joe Biden’s approval plummets.

‘Given where the electorate is’ – on issues like the US-Mexico border and inflation – ‘I think the state is leaning Republican, even if Kari Lake is the nominee,’ Kirk Adams said , former chief of staff to Ducey and former speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives.

“For Democrats or Progressives hoping for a Lake nomination, be careful what you wish for, because you could end up with Governor Lake,” he said.



The Huffington Gt

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