PHOENIX (AP) — 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.
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.
“Arizonans who have been forgotten by the establishment just delivered a political earthquake,” Lake said in a statement after the race was called.
Republicans now enter the general election sprint with a slate of nominees closely allied with Trump who deny that Biden was legitimately elected president. Lake will face Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in the November election.
“This race for governor isn’t about Democrats or Republicans. It’s a choice between sanity and chaos,” Hobbs said Thursday night in a statement on Lake’s victory.
Early election results showing only mail ballots received before Election Day gave Robson a solid lead, but that was whittled down as votes from polling places were added to the tally. Lake’s victory became clear Thursday when Maricopa County released results from thousands of mail ballots dropped off at the polls on Tuesday.
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 U.S. Senate, secretary of state, attorney general, U.S. House and the state Legislature all won their GOP primaries.
If they win in November, Trump allies …read more