Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for governor in Arizona, refused to tell CNN’s Dana Bash whether she will accept the results of November’s election if she loses. Per the Arizona Republic, Lake twice told Bash during a Sunday interview, “I’m going to win the election and accept that result.” Pressed on why she continues to use words like “corrupt, stolen, rotten, and rigged” to describe the 2020 election, despite a lack of evidence, Lake brought up a conspiracy theory about ballots in Maricopa County. Informed by Bash that the theory was widely debunked, Lake said the media had only told one side of the story and pivoted to the need to make sure "elections are safe and secure" for everyone.
In a separate interview, Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs—who currently serves as Arizona’s secretary of state—told Bash that Lake’s comments were “absolutely disqualifying” coming from someone who may soon have authority over the state’s elections. Also during her CNN appearance, Lake accused Hobbs of “cowardice” for refusing to engage in a debate; for her part, Hobbs defended her decision, saying Lake was “only interested in creating a spectacle.” Lake and Hobbs are running an exceptionally tight race, with the polling average at Real Clear Politics showing Lake with a slight edge of less than a point.
As USA Today’s Rex Huppke notes in an opinion piece, “there are hundreds—literally hundreds—of Kari Lakes running for office," though she is among the more influential in the GOP. A New York Times report revealed more than 370 current Republican candidates have “questioned and, at times, outright denied the results of the 2020 election.” Many are likely to win, but of those who lose, Huppke foresees trouble. “Can we really expect our judicial and legislative guardrails will hold up to a small army of Trumpian clones with egos of their own to protect?" Meanwhile, the right-wing site Twitchy joined in the criticism of Hobbs for refusing to debate. (Read more Kari Lake stories.)