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Trump-Backed Kari Lake Wins GOP Nomination for Arizona Governor

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Kari Lake defeated Karrin Taylor Robson in the Arizona Republican gubernatorial primaries, the UKTN reports, propelling the Trump-approved candidate to a general election where she is preferred to become the state’s 24th governor.

Send the news: The former UKTN 10 anchor took the race by storm last year, becoming the immediate frontrunner with a style and message closely imitated by former President Trump.

  • Lake’s campaign has been characterized by her combative style, anti-establishment rhetoric and unwavering support for Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was rigged against him.

The fight between Lake and Robson became a proxy war between Trump and the established wing of the GOP.

Between the lines: Despite spending more than $20 million on her campaign, most of which was self-funded, Robson was never able to overcome Lake’s advantage.

  • The developer and former regent gained momentum late in the race with a massive, sustained TV commercial flash.
  • Robson also ran a relentless ad campaign against Lake, hitting her for contributing to Barack Obama in 2008, questioning her conservative credentials, and calling her “Fake Lake.”
  • Nearly every poll of the race ever released publicly showed Lake leading, and despite her financial advantage, she was never able to overcome that lead.

The Intrigue: Lake and Ducey will now have to bury the hatchet as they run towards the general election.

  • Ducey is the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, which has already earmarked approximately $10.6 million in airtime for the general election.
  • Lake has strongly criticized Ducey over his response to COVID-19 and other issues.
  • Still, Ducey’s job as RGA chairman is to win gubernatorial races for the GOP, and it would be bad for him if the Democrats won the race in his own state.

What’s next: Lake is likely to face Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in the general election. Many Democrats viewed Lake as the easier opponent for Hobbs.

Yes but: This is still Arizona, which, despite Democratic gains in the past election, is still a predominantly red state, and this is still expected to be a Republican golf year.

Of interest: Hobbs, who has served as Arizona’s top election official since 2019, gained national prominence after the 2020 election against the same false allegations of voter fraud that Lake has been spreading over the past year.

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