Election Denier Wins Her Gubernatorial Primary

Trump ally Kari Lake wins GOP nomination for Arizona governor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 5, 2022 12:10 AM CDT
Election Denier Wins Her Gubernatorial Primary
Republican Arizona Gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson speaks to supporters at a campaign party, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Matt York)

Kari Lake, a former news anchor who walked away from her journalism career and was embraced by Donald Trump and his staunch supporters, won the Republican primary for Arizona governor on Thursday, the AP reports. Lake's victory was a blow to the GOP establishment that lined up behind lawyer and businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson in an attempt to push their party past the chaotic Trump era. Lake said she would not have certified President Joe Biden's 2020 victory and put false claims of election fraud at the center of her campaign. “The MAGA movement rose up like their lives depended on it,” Lake said as she declared victory prematurely on Wednesday afternoon, a day before the race was called. “And it proved that you can't buy an election, at least not in Arizona. We the people rose up and spoke."

Robson, who is married to one of Arizona's richest men, largely self-funded her campaign. She called the 2020 election “unfair” but stopped short of calling it fraudulent and pushed for the GOP to look toward the future. Republicans now enter the general election sprint with a slate of nominees closely allied with Trump who deny that Joe Biden was legitimately elected president. Lake will face Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in the November election; Hobbs told supporters after her primary win, "Quite simply, Kari Lake is dangerous." Lake now faces the daunting task of uniting the Republican Party after a bruising primary. She attempted to reach out to Robson and others she fiercely criticized as RINOs, or Republicans in Name Only, who don't align with Trump on key issues.

In a midterm primary season with mixed results for Trump’s favored candidates, the former president came out on top in Arizona, a state that has been central to his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and cast doubt on Biden's victory. In addition to Lake, Trump’s picks for US Senate, secretary of state, attorney general, US House and the state Legislature all won their GOP primaries. If they win in November, Trump allies will hold sway over the administration of elections in a crucial battleground state as he considers another bid for the White House in 2024. The results also show that Trump remains a powerful figure in the GOP as longtime party stalwarts get increasingly bold in their efforts to reassert control ahead of the next presidential campaign.

(Read more Arizona stories.)

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