Kari Lake declares victory in Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial primary

2JKCKXJ Tucson, Arizona, USA. 31st July, 2022. Former President Trump endorsed candidates for Arizona Governor, U.S. Senate, and Attorney General hold rally at Whiskey Roads bar in Tucson days before the Arizona primary. The America First Republican candidates, Blake Masters for Senate, Kari Lake for Governoror and Abe Hamadeh for Attorney General recieved the former President's backing, This sets up a showdown between the MAGA wing of the party and other candidates backed by Governor Doug Ducey, former VP Mike Pence and Chris Christy among others. Kari Lake speaking at rally. (Credit Image: © Chri

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Kari Lake claimed victory in Arizona’s competitive gubernatorial primary Wednesday.

“We are going to lead this state to its brightest days ahead,” the Trump endorsee said at a campaign press conference aired Wednesday by Fox 10.

Praising the efforts of her opponents, Lake added that she hoped they would support her in the fight ahead.

“We are about to bring the party together, the Republican Party, so that it represents ‘We the People,’” she said. “We are about to bring Independents into the Republican Party, and Democrats into the Republican Party, because we know that America First policies—and we saw this under President Trump—are the only way to solve the problems that we’re facing right now.”

Five Republicans entered the contest for the gubernatorial nomination, with the top two—Lake and Mike Pence endorsee Karrin Taylor Robson—carrying the vast majority of the vote, according to The New York Times.

Although the Associated Press has yet to call the race, Lake currently holds a lead of more than 11,000 votes over Robson with 80 percent of precincts reporting.

Robson has yet to concede.

Per the Arizona Mirror, when the votes initially began rolling in Tuesday night, Robson took an early lead, with Lake holding steady in second place. However, as the counting continued overnight and into Wednesday morning, Lake surged ahead.

“When they count the votes, we are going to win this, and there is no path to victory for our opponent,” Lake told supporters at her election watch party as she took the lead Tuesday night. “And when we get into office, we are going to reform our elections for once and for all.”

The former news anchor will now move on to the general election, where she will face off against Arizona’s current Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

Notably, as the two candidates are vying for the governorship, they will also be doing battle in another forum—federal court.

In April, Lake and Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem—another victorious Trump endorsee who clinched the Republican nomination for Arizona secretary of state Tuesday—filed an emergency injunction against Hobbs and other elections officials seeking to prohibit the use of voting machines in the November midterm elections. Subsequently, in June, a request for preliminary injunction was filed to prevent the use of the machines in the August primary.

At a hearing for the case last month, cybersecurity experts who participated in the Arizona State Senate Audit of the 2020 election testified as to the vulnerabilities of electronic voting machines, with one contending that “The average home computer is better protected than the EMS [Election Management Servers] and the client systems that were in the Maricopa County environment.”

But as both the political and legal battles move forward, voters need not guess who the 45th president will be rooting for. 

“The people of Arizona have a chance to get a truly great Governor, unlike the one you have right now,” Trump said in a July 6 statement of support for Lake.

“With Kari, you’ll have Election Integrity, Strong Borders, Safe Streets, and all of the other things you’ve wanted for so long,” he added. “Vote for Kari Lake. She has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

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