Kari Lake's Team Wrestles With How to React If She Loses

Advisers urge Trump ally not to claim the election was stolen
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2022 7:35 PM CST
Advisers Urge Kari Lake Not to Claim Fraud If Defeated
Republican Kari Lake appears with former President Donald Trump at a rally in Prescott in July.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

With a Republican victory looking more unlikely in the Arizona governor's race, advisers are urging Kari Lake not to claim the election was stolen if she loses to Democrat Katie Hobbs. The GOP nominee's aides spent the weekend in a "war room" at a resort in Scottsdale, the Washington Post reports, preparing their candidate for defeat. By Monday, the team had become resigned, aides said, as some of the new counts were breaking Lake's way but not by enough to overcome Hobbs' lead. "Everybody expects us to be screaming, and we're doing the opposite," a Lake adviser said, though others said there was anger about the Election Day voting process.

Lake is a close ally of former President Donald Trump and a persistent supporter of his debunked claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him. Trump was among the GOP advisers offering Lake counsel, in a phone call Sunday. Steve Bannon and Christina Bobb, a former One America News anchor who was involved in the review of Maricopa County ballots after the 2020 election, visited the war room. Lake's advisers, who include party regulars as well as her aides, have told her that Arizona could be harmed by fraud claims that turn the state into home base for the "Stop the Steal" movement.

"Nobody is advocating to go storm the castle," an insider told the Post. On Monday evening, as the last votes were being counted, there was an indication that Lake hasn't been persuaded. "Shouldn't Election Officials be impartial?" she tweeted. "The guys running the Election have made it their mission to defeat America First Republicans. Unbelievable." (More Arizona stories.)

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