Rand Paul, Matt Gaetz Endorse Kari Lake for Senate
Rand Paul, Matt Gaetz Endorse Kari Lake for Senate

By Bill Pan

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) are endorsing Kari Lake’s bid for Arizona’s open Senate seat, which could help determine the partisan control of the upper chamber.

Ms. Lake has received the backing from former President Donald Trump and his allies after she kicked off her Senate campaign last October. Recently, she also picked up endorsements from several prominent members of the Republican Party leadership, including Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.), the chair of the Senate Republican Conference; and Sen. Steve Daines (Mont.), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Her latest endorsement came from two libertarian-leaning Republicans, who expressed hope that the ascension of an anti-establishment outsider to the Senate would be a catalyst for changes in Washington.

“Kari Lake will go to DC to shake things up, and that’s exactly the kind of leadership that Arizona needs in the United States Senate,” Mr. Paul said in a statement upon his endorsement. “I am proud to endorse Kari Lake for the United States Senate because she has the policies, the drive, and desire to defeat the Washington War Machine and restore American liberties.”

“Kari Lake is MAGA to her core and cannot be bought by the establishment. I am proud to endorse her for the United States Senate in Arizona. I am very much looking forward to watching her shake up the halls of power,” Mr. Gaetz said in his own endorsement message.

In response to the endorsements, Ms. Lake said she is grateful for the support from American First “champions” fighting for liberty and against the “Washington War machine.”

“I am thankful to have the endorsement of America First warriors Senator Paul and Rep. Gaetz,” she wrote on X. “They have been champions for fiscal responsibility, liberty, and fighting against the Washington War machine. I look forward to working with them to implement President Trump’s agenda.”

Ms. Lake officially joined Arizona’s Senate race while still fighting legal battles over the 2022 gubernatorial election, which concluded with Democrat Katie Hobbs swearing in as the new Arizona governor. Refusing to concede, Ms. Lake has filed multiple lawsuits and made multiple claims questioning the legitimacy of that election.

Mark Lamb, a sheriff in Pinal County, is the only major opponent facing Ms. Lake in the race for the Republican Party nomination.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) is also competing for the seat, which is currently held by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.). Ms. Sinema, who still caucuses with Democrats after shifting her affiliation from Democrat to independent in 2022, has yet to formally announce whether she’ll seek reelection.

Ms. Sinema has until April to file for reelection, which will require to garner around 42,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot for what would likely be a three-way race against Mr. Gallego and Ms. Lake.

Republicans are heading into the 2024 election with 49 Senate seats under their belt. There are 34 Senate seats up for grabs in 2024, of which 23 are held by Democrats or Independents. Republicans can flip the chamber to their control with a net gain of two seats, or by a combination of winning the 2024 presidential election and a net gain of just one seat.

Democrats, meanwhile, are defending at least 14 vulnerable seats, including 11 in states where President Joe Biden narrowly won in the 2020 election and 3 in states that voted for President Donald Trump in 2020. Those include the seats held by Sens. Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), as well as the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.).

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