Kari Lake, a former television presenter who quit her job and was hailed by Donald Trump and his ardent fans, won the Republican primary for governor of Arizona recently.
Lake's win dealt a blow to the Republican establishment, which had rallied behind lawyer and businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson in a bid to move the party beyond the turbulent Trump era.
Lake stated that she would not have certified President Joe Biden's 2020 victory and would have focused on her campaign.
After the race was called off, Lake released a statement in which he said, "Elite Arizonans who have been abandoned by the elite have just delivered a political earthquake."
Republicans will now head into the general election with a slate of people who are sympathetic to Trump and reject that Biden was lawfully elected president. Katie Hobbs, Democratic Secretary of the State, is all set for the November election, where she’ll stand against Lake.
"This isn't a Democratic or Republican election for governor. It's a decision between sanity and pandemonium," Hobbs said in a statement following Lake's triumph on Thursday night.
Early election results based only on postal ballots received before Election Day showed Robson with a commanding advantage, but it was eroded when votes from polling venues were counted. Lake's triumph was confirmed Thursday when Maricopa County published data from thousands of postal ballots dropped off at polling places on Tuesday.
"The voters of Arizona have spoken," Robson said in a statement late Thursday, surrendering to Lake, mentioning that she trusts the process and is ready to accept the outcome.
Out of 15 counties in Arizona, only in 5 counties saw a narrow growth in Democrats in the last election over Republicans. Particularly in Maricopa County, they managed to lead by the skin of their teeth.
Except that, all other counties hugely supported Republicans. The Counties of Navajo and Yuma experienced quite a close encounter with Democrats though, but in the impending election of 2022, it’s comprehensible that Kari Lake would be the probable last-man-standing.
In a midterm primary season marked by uneven results for Trump's preferred candidates, the former president triumphed in Arizona, a state key to his hopes to overturn the 2020 presidential election and put doubt on Biden's victory. Along with Lake, Trump's nominees for the United States Senate, Secretary of State, Attorney General, United States House of Representatives, and State Legislature all won GOP primaries.
If they win in November, Trump supporters would have control over election administration in a key battleground state as he explores a run for the White House in 2024. The statistics also demonstrate that as veteran party stalwarts become more brazen in their efforts to reclaim control ahead of the next presidential race, Trump remains a prominent force in the Republican Party.
In the days leading up to the election, former Vice-President, Mike Pence, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie all campaigned for Robson.
Robson, who is married to one of Arizona's wealthiest men, raised the majority of her campaign funds alone. She termed the 2020 election "unfair," but stopped short of labeling it "fraudulent," and urged Republicans to move ahead.
Following a brutal primary, Lake now confronts the arduous job of reconciling with the Republican Party. On Wednesday, as Lake prematurely announced victory, she sought to reach out to Robson and others she harshly labeled as RINOs, or Republicans in Name Only, who don't agree with Trump on crucial issues.
Lake welcomed Robson, saying, "To be honest, our party needs her, and I welcome her. I'm hoping she will attend this as well.”
"I desire that our Republican nominees be victorious in November," Robson said, adding that she has spent her whole life supporting Republicans.
Lake, like Trump, thrives on controversy and conflict. She scolds journalists and avoids queries. She burned masks during the COVID-19 outbreak in the summer of 2021 and criticized Republicans like Ducey for allowing business restrictions, although, as a television presenter, she encouraged people to heed public health advice.
Lake said there were indicators of fraud in the days running up to her election, but she failed to produce any evidence. Once her victory was guaranteed, she stated that voters should have faith in her triumph.
"We outvoted the deception," Lake remarked. She cited issues in Pinal County, where some polls ran out of votes and had to print more, but she and her attorney, Tim La Sota, failed to offer proof to back up her charges of fraud.
She stated that she has no intention of quitting discussing election theft, although she has to widen her appeal beyond the loyalists who fueled her primary triumph.
A hand recount was ordered after Lake's opponent attacked her for her opposition to abortion rights and gun control.
Republicans must now find a way to appeal to independent voters who determine close contests.