Monday August 15th, 2022 5:46PM

Trump ally Kari Lake wins GOP primary for Arizona governor

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PHOENIX (AP) — 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.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2022
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
WNBA's Griner convicted at drug trial, sentenced to 9 years
A judge in Russia convicted American basketball star Brittney Griner of drug possession and smuggling
10:27PM ( 4 minutes ago )
China conducts 'precision missile strikes' in Taiwan Strait
China says it has conducted “precision missile strikes" in the Taiwan Strait as part of military exercises by its navy, air force and other departments in six zones surrounding the island
10:17PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Trump ally Kari Lake wins GOP primary for Arizona governor
Former television news anchor Kari Lake has won the Republican primary for Arizona governor
10:13PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Dried blood and roses: Jury gets rare look at Parkland scene
Jurors in the trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz have toured the still-bloodstained building where he murdered 17 people four years ago
8:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
Alex Jones ordered to pay Sandy Hook parents more than $4M
A Texas jury has ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay more than $4 million in compensatory damages to the parents of a 6-year-old boy who was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre over Jones' repeated public claims that the attack was a hoax
8:45PM ( 1 hour ago )
In S. Korea, Pelosi avoids public comments on Taiwan, China
After infuriating China over her trip to Taiwan, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has met South Korean political leaders in Seoul
8:41PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Autocratic Hungarian leader Orban hailed by US conservatives
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is urging American conservatives to “take back the institutions,” stick to hardline stances on gay rights and immigration, and fight for the next U.S. presidential election as a pivotal moment for their beliefs
6:51PM ( 3 hours ago )
Twitter responds to Musk's claims, calls them 'excuses'
Twitter denied in a court filing that it had deprived its would-be acquirer, billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, of necessary information or misrepresented details about its business
6:47PM ( 3 hours ago )
Feds charge 4 police officers in fatal Breonna Taylor raid
The federal government has filed civil rights charges against four Louisville police officers over the drug raid that led to the death of Breonna Taylor
6:29PM ( 4 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
CEO of publishing giant defends deal challenged by US gov't
The head of publishing titan Penguin Random House is defending his company’s deal to acquire rival Simon & Schuster against the government’s claim it would thwart competition
7:30PM ( 3 hours ago )
Surprise Senate vote would overturn Biden environmental rule
In a surprise victory for Republicans, the Senate on Thursday voted to overturn a Biden administration rule requiring rigorous environmental review of major infrastructure projects such as highways, pipelines and oil wells — a victory enabled in part by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia
7:01PM ( 3 hours ago )
Louisiana abortion providers file appeal, hope to block ban
Access to abortion in Louisiana has been back-and-forth for weeks — with the state’s three clinics relying on rulings and temporary restraining orders to continue operations
6:47PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Hungary leader Orban urges US conservatives to focus on 2024
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is urging American conservatives to “take back the institutions,” stick to hardline stances on gay rights and immigration and fight for the pivotal next U.S. presidential election
6:24PM ( 4 hours ago )
Concern that Nicaragua repression could be "model" in region
Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega’s government has closed seven radio stations this week owned by the Roman Catholic church, as well as two other outlets serving the largely rural northern area with a history of opposition
5:49PM ( 4 hours ago )
Ex Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez charged with bribery
Former Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez has been arrested on bribery charges related to the financing of her 2020 campaign, the latest hit to an island with a long history of corruption that brought fresh political upheaval to the U.S. territory
2:56PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Elections
With Greitens out, independent is new challenge for Schmitt
Republican leaders got their wish with the defeat of former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens in the U.S. Senate primary
4:16PM ( 1 day ago )
Justice Department details threats against election workers
A top official says the Justice Department has charged five people for making threats of violence against election workers amid a rising wave of harassment and intimidation tied to the 2020 presidential election
3:49PM ( 1 day ago )
Michigan GOP Rep. Meijer loses reelection after Trump vote
Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer, who witnessed the Capitol riot days after taking office in 2021 and then cast one of the 10 Republican votes to impeach Donald Trump over the attack, has lost his reelection bid
2:58PM ( 1 day ago )
General Election News
Nashville council axes GOP convention bid; Milwaukee in line
Nashville’s metro council has dealt what's likely final blow to hosting the next Republican National Convention
1:57PM ( 1 day ago )
Kenya's election rips open scars of inequality, corruption
In the shadow of a thousand-dollar campaign billboard, one of many across Kenya’s capital, street vendors struggle to make even 200 shillings ($1.68) a day and often pocket none
10:47AM ( 1 day ago )
3 House Republicans who impeached Trump face tough primaries
Michigan Republican Rep. Peter Meijer is trailing a primary challenger backed by former President Donald Trump as he and two other Republican U.S. House members who voted to impeach Trump fight to hang onto their seats
1:39AM ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
Pence touts Wisconsin GOP governor candidate Kleefisch
Former Vice President Mike Pence is campaigning with his pick in battleground Wisconsin’s Republican gubernatorial primary, calling Rebecca Kleefisch “a proven conservative” as she faces an opponent endorsed by Donald Trump
1:02PM ( 1 day ago )
Same-sex marriage plaintiff Obergefell runs for Ohio office
Jim Obergefell is hoping that Democrats can win back seats at the Ohio Statehouse and beyond this fall with a message grounded in his landmark U.S. Supreme Court fight for same-sex marriage
10:29AM ( 2 days ago )
What to watch in primaries in Arizona, Michigan, elsewhere
Primary elections are being held in six states on Tuesday
7:11PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
WNBA's Griner convicted at drug trial, sentenced to 9 years
A judge in Russia convicted American basketball star Brittney Griner of drug possession and smuggling
10:27PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Japan PM meets Pelosi, calls China drills 'grave problem'
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says that China’s military exercises aimed at Taiwan represent a “grave problem” that threatens regional peace and security after five ballistic missiles launched as part of the drills landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone
10:11PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Brittney Griner recognized with WNBA moment of silence
Following Brittney Griner’s sentencing in Russia to nine years in prison Thursday, WNBA players, coaches and fans locked arms and tried to send the American basketball star strength during a moment of silence
10:06PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Tennessee primary features GOP House fight, Dem governor bid
Voters are settling settle a nine-way Republican fight in Nashville’s newly carved-up congressional district
9:55PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Democrats say they've reached agreement on economic package
Senate Democrats say they have reached an accord on eleventh-hour changes to their top-priority economic legislation, clearing a major hurdle to moving the measure through the chamber in coming days
9:52PM ( 40 minutes ago )