By Gary Bai
Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has won the Republican nomination in the Arizona primary election.
“Though the results took longer than they should have, Arizonans who have been forgotten by the establishment just delivered a political earthquake,” Lake said in a statement late Thursday celebrating her win.
“This is more than an election—it is a beautiful movement by so many people across our beautiful state to finally put Arizona First,” Lake said. “Starting tonight, we fight to defeat the radical, corrupt, incompetent Democrats and put our government back into the hands o the great people of Arizona!”
The Associated Press called the race on Thursday night at 10:09 p.m. Eastern Time. With 88 percent of the total vote counted, Lake had 46.8 percent, and the self-funded Karrin Taylor Robson had 44 percent.
Lake, a former local news anchor, defeated Robson in a race that was seen as a litmus test of Trump’s influence over the GOP voter base compared to that of establishment GOP figures. On Thursday night, Lake held the lead over Robson in all Arizona counties.
Lake’s win became the latest in Trump’s sweeping endorsement record in Arizona, where his picks in the races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, secretary of state, attorney general, and the state Legislature all won GOP nomination in the primaries.
Trump endorsed Lake multiple times leading up to the election, calling her a “fantastic person” who “will do a far better job than RINO Governor Doug Ducey.” Trump endorsed Lake when holding a “Save America” rally in Prescott Valley, Arizona, on July 22.
“With Kari, you’ll have Election Integrity, Strong Borders, Safe Streets, and all of the other things you’ve wanted for so long. Vote for Kari Lake. She has my Complete and Total Endorsement!” Trump said in a statement in July.
Trump’s support proved to outweigh those of establishment GOP figures behind Robson, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, and Trump’s former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.
Meanwhile, Lake said her campaign trail to the Republican nomination for governor was troubled by the very thing she pledged to eliminate.
“You completely overwhelmed the system on Election Day!” Lake said in a Thursday Twitter post celebrating her win before The Associated Press called the race, alleging fraud in the 2022 primaries in Arizona.
In her Twitter posts, Lake brought attention to voter irregularities and a ballot shortage leading up to and on the day of primary elections in Arizona. These included a shortage of ballots in Pinal County on election day, which the country’s attorney said affected 25 of 95 precincts and about 750 of 50,000 voters.
Election Fraud Allegations
In addition to being a hawk on a wide swath of conservative issues, Lake vigorously contended the results of the 2020 election, alleging widespread fraud in favor of then-candidate Joe Biden and pledging to improve election security if elected.
“Have we learned nothing in the last two years?” Lake said during a May interview with Trump’s former attorney Jenna Ellis that YouTube censored. “We know we have learned a lot: we learned that our elections are corrupt, that they found a way to cheat at every single level, and we haven’t corrected that.”
Findings from Dinesh D’Souza’s ‘2000 Mules’ movie, the investigation by True The Vote, and the Arizona forensic audit are “pure evidence that’s admissible in a court of law,” Lake said.
“In 2016, over 60 percent of Democrats believed the election was stolen. In 2020, over 60 percent of Republicans believe the election was stolen,” reads Lake’s campaign website. “We cannot continue to have disputed elections and expect this country to survive.”
Lake has called for numerous reforms to election practices, including having voter ID on all ballots, requiring pre-printed paper ballots, conducting post-election audits, and banning all election equipment that uses any software.
“Ensuring election integrity in the future is incredibly simple if we simply have the political will to do it,” her website states.