Ahead of Ariz. Primary, a Trump-Pence Split

They're each backing different Republican gubernatorial candidates in that state
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2022 10:00 AM CDT
Trump, Pence Set for Dueling Campaign Events
From left, Republican candidates for Arizona governor Karrin Taylor Robson and Kari Lake prior to a PBS-televised Republican debate on June 29 in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Former Vice President Mike Pence is again butting heads with his former boss, this time in the Arizona gubernatorial race. With two weeks left until the Aug. 2 primary, Pence endorsed Republican Karrin Taylor Robson on Monday and is to campaign on her behalf on Friday, reports Politico. Former President Donald Trump will be campaigning for Kari Lake, his endorsed candidate, that same day. Originally scheduled for this past Saturday, Trump's Arizona rally was delayed to Friday following the death of his first wife, Ivana Trump. He endorsed Lake, 52, back in September.

This isn't the first time the former partners have collided in a primary. Pence endorsed Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp ahead of his reelection this year, while Trump backed former Republican Sen. David Perdue. But it's a further sign of the breach in their relationship, which "ruptured after [Pence] defied the former president's pressure campaign to not certify the 2020 election results," per Politico. Lake, a media-bashing former TV news anchor, has touted Trump's unfounded claims that the 2020 election was stolen. Robson, a real estate developer and former member of the state's board of regents, has more reservedly described the election as "unfair," per the AP.

In a statement, Pence said he's "proud to support" 57-year-old Robson, who is "the best choice for Arizona's future." Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who maintains "a close relationship" with Pence, is also backing Robson, per Politico. He says she's "the real conservative," whereas Lake has been putting on "an act," per Insider. Lake, who once donated to Barack Obama, recently complained that "they kicked God out of schools and welcomed the Drag Queens," per the Arizona Republic. However, a drag queen in Phoenix says Lake attended his performances over 20 years and even hired him to perform at her home, in front of her young daughter, New York reports. (Read more Mike Pence stories.)

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