Kari Lake Teases Arizona Senate Run

WASHINGTON — Kari Lake, the feisty former broadcaster who narrowly lost last year’s Arizona gubernatorial race, said in an interview that she is considering a Republican campaign for the U.S. Senate. States in Arizona next year.

She’s also scheduled campaign-style events this month in Iowa — the site of her party’s first presidential run — that often signal White House ambitions.

Additionally, she is still protesting her November defeat in the Arizona gubernatorial race, despite her claims of misconduct. denied in court. She has continued to raise money to help fund legal bills related to her challenges in court, and has also given a number of paid speeches, but declined to speak to anyone.

Ms. Lake’s maneuvering in recent months has signaled that she is eager to build on her fledgling political résumé following a mid-life career change.

After decades as a reporter and local TV presenter, Ms. Lake exploding on the political stage last year after winning a fierce primaries with a powerful mix of election lies and cultural grievances. Her polite and ruthless communication skills helped her win 17,000 votes to win Arizona’s most politically powerful office as a first-time candidate — and get her praise from former President Donald J. Trump, with whom she often imitates her style.

“Here is your headline: Lake Kari is on the offensive,” Ms. Lake said in an interview on Thursday night.

But it’s not clear exactly where that path will lead.

Sitting in the corner booth of a hotel bar in Washington, Ms. Lake drank a pint of Guinness and previewed the opening moves in a potential Senate race, attacking even Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who leave the Democratic Party in December to become independent, and Representative Ruben Gallegoa Democrat running for Ms. Sinema’s seat as “radical leftists”.

Ms. Lake tried to cast doubt on Sinema’s reputation as a moderate, pointing to data showing that the Arizona incumbent often votes in favor of President Biden. An NBC poll last year shows that American voters were divided on whether Mr Biden was moderate or liberal.

“She is the furthest thing from an independent person,” Ms. Lake said. “Someone somewhere said she did something brave, well, she should do brave things here every day. If you are lucky enough to be elected by the people, when you show up in Washington, DC, you should perform acts of bravery every day.”

Sinema’s spokesman declined to comment.

Ms. Lake also attacked Mr. Gallego, a progressive Democrat from Phoenix, as a socialist and highlighted the complaints of a former employee, Ne’Lexia Galloway, who had criticized him after quitting his job last year for not doing more to “speak out about injustices” against people of color in his county. A spokesman for Mr. Gallego declined to comment.

Ms. Lake practiced similar offensive lines against Mr. Gallego, who will be the state’s first Latina elected to the Senate, during a rally last week in Arizona and on Twitter.

Tempe Mayor Corey Woods, who is black, defended Mr. Gallego, saying Ms. Lake’s claims were misleading.

“I personally have known Ruben Gallego for more than 15 years and I know he stands up for what is right,” said Woods, who supported Gallego on Wednesday. to post on Twitter last week.

Mr. Gallego also appears to be gathering support from the Black community. Roy Tatem Jr., former leader of the East Valley NAACP in Phoenix, spoke at a Gallego campaign event last week. Pastor Aubrey Barnwell, head of the African-American Christian Clergy Alliance, made the appeal at the same event.

Several other prominent Arizonans have told Republican officials they are considering Senate campaigns, including Mark Lamb, the Pinal County sheriff; Jim Lamon, a wealthy businessman running for Senate in 2022; Blake Masters, the party’s Senate candidate who lost to incumbent Senator Mark Kelly last year; and Karrin Taylor Robson, a businesswoman who lost to Lake in the governor’s primary.

Ms. Lake expressed confidence that she would easily defeat any Republican opponent and claimed that her popularity among conservative voters in the state was second only to Mr. Trump’s.

She opposes the notion that she is a divisive figure in her party, saying she has been in contact with opponents after last year’s primary victory but many have not returned her calls.

She also downplayed the malice she stirred up with attacks on John McCain, longtime Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential candidate. the dead in 2018.

In August, she announced in a speech that her candidate had “stabbed the stake in the heart of the McCain machine,” while performing a stabbing motion with her arm. In the final days of the race, a video emerged from an event a year earlier when she asked if there were any McCain Republicans in the audience and ordered them to “turn off.” Go.”

Ms. Lake said in the interview that some Republicans were more disdain for the individual than the former senator.

“I think Mr. McCain will laugh,” Ms. Lake said. “I really do.”

Ms Lake said her top priority remains to challenge the outcome of the race for governor, despite the court rulings against her and her Democratic rival, Katie Hobbs, taking the oath of office. took office on January 2.

Ms. Lake claimed that officials in Maricopa County, Ariz., intentionally malfunctioned ballot printers for the purpose of influencing the election. rejected in December after a two-day trial in Phoenix. Ms. Lake appealed the decision.

Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ordered Ms. Lake to pay $33,000 in fees to cover the costs of expert witnesses hired by Ms. Hobbs.


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