x

Politics

Trump Ally Kari Lake Wins GOP Primary for Arizona Governor

PHOENIX  — 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.

“The voters of Arizona have spoken,” Robson said in a statement conceding to Lake late Thursday. “I accept the results, I trust the process and the people who administer it.”

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 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.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie all campaigned for Robson in the days before the election.

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.

Lake now faces the daunting task of uniting the Republican Party after a bruising primary. On Wednesday, as Lake declared victory prematurely, 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.

“Frankly, this party needs her to come together, and I welcome her,” Lake said of Robson. “And I hope that she will come over for this.”

Robson said she’s spent her life supporting Republicans, “and it is my hope that our Republican nominees are successful in November.”

Like Trump, Lake courts controversy and confrontation. She berates journalists and dodges questions. She burned masks during the COVID-19 surge in the summer of 2021 and attacked Republicans like Ducey who allowed restrictions on businesses, though as a news anchor she encouraged people to follow public health guidance.

Lake spent the days leading up to her own election claiming there were signs of fraud, but she refused to provide any evidence. Once her victory was assured, she said voters should trust her win is legitimate.

“We outvoted the fraud,” Lake said. She pointed to problems in Pinal County, which ran out of ballots in some precincts and had to print more, but she and her attorney, Tim La Sota, refused to provide evidence backing up her claims of fraud.

She said she has no plans to stop talking about election fraud even as she needs to broaden her appeal beyond the loyalists her powered her primary victory.

Federal and state election officials and Trump’s own attorney general have said there is no credible evidence the 2020 election was tainted. Trump’s allegations of fraud were also roundly rejected by courts, including by judges he appointed. A hand recount led by Trump supporters in Maricopa County, Arizona’s largest, found no proof of a stolen election and concluded Biden’s margin of victory was larger than the official count.

Hobbs, Lake’s opponent in November, went after the candidate over her opposition to abortion rights and gun control and a proposal she floated to put cameras in every classroom to keep an eye on teachers.

Republicans, moving toward November as a divided party in Arizona, need to make an appeal to the independent voters who decide close races, said Chuck Coughlin, a longtime Republican strategist who left the party during the Trump era.

“I see it as a challenge the Republicans are going to have: How do they narrate to unaffiliated voters?” Coughlin said.

 

RELATED

FORT PIERCE, Fla.  — Lawyers for Donald Trump made a longshot argument Friday that the Justice Department prosecutor who charged the former president with hoarding classified documents at his Florida estate was illegally appointed and that the case should therefore be dismissed.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Alberto, Season’s First Named Tropical Storm, Dumps Rain on Texas and Mexico, Which Reports 3 Deaths

TAMPICO, Mexico (AP) — Tropical Storm Alberto rumbled toward northeast Mexico early Thursday as the first named storm of the season, carrying heavy rains that left three people dead but also brought hope to a region suffering under a prolonged, severe drought.

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip  — Israeli forces shelled tent camps for displaced Palestinians outside Gaza's southern city of Rafah on Friday, killing at least 25 people and wounding another 50, according to the territory's health officials and emergency workers.

LEIPZIG, Germany  — Kylian Mbappé watched from the substitutes’ bench as France and the Netherlands finished 0-0 in a heavyweight European Championship clash on Friday.

NEW YORK – Greek-American long-distance runner Alexi Pappas was featured in Vogue magazine for her latest role as an ambassador for the outdoor brand Merrell and a film project with Merrell and Vogue.

ATHENS - A total of 64 fires broke out in mixed farm and forest land in the last 24 hours, with 46 of them controlled from the very start, the Fire Brigade said in a briefing earlier on Friday.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.