Kari Lake, a 2020 election denier backed by former President Donald Trump, has won the Republican primary for governor in Arizona, defeating Karrin Taylor Robson, a candidate backed by former Vice President Mike Pence. NBC News Projects.
Lake’s win, coupled with state primary wins for two other election deniers, Mark Finchemthe Republican candidate for Secretary of State, and Abraham Hamad, the Republican nominee for state attorney general means Arizona can have election deniers in the top positions overseeing the election and certifying and defending the results in the important swing state.
Lake had 46.8 percent of the vote Thursday night, against Taylor Robson’s 44 percent, with 90 percent of the expected votes counted.
In a statement Thursday night, Lake said the election results “took longer than they should,” while adding that Arizonans “forgotten by the establishment have just caused a political earthquake” by naming her the Republican candidate.
Lake initially declared victory on Tuesday night when she followed Taylor Robson, a real estate developer backed by both Pence and interim Republican administration Doug Ducey.
With Lake down by 7 percentage points at that point, Lake took the podium on Tuesday night and declared, “We won,” adding, “There is no path to victory for my opponent, and we won this race — period. “
About two hours later, as she began to walk in front of Taylor Robson, Lake returned to the podium to declare the win again.
“God put us here for a reason,” Lake said. “The same God who parted the Red Sea, the same God who moved mountains, is with us now as we take back our land and save this republic.”
“Let’s order some pizza and party!” she concluded.
Lake, a longtime local news anchor backed by Trump and some of his allies, had previously suggested she would not accept the results of her election if she lost and that the race was already tainted by fraud and irregularities.
Lake, Finchem and Hamadeh have all called for the decertification of the 2020 elections.
The race was close: As of Wednesday, 12:05 a.m. ET, Lake Taylor led Robson by less than 2 percentage points, counting nearly 80% of the expected votes.
Lake now faces Katie Hobbs, the Arizona secretary of state who landed the Democratic nomination for governor on Tuesday.
Hobbs told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday that it was “worrying” that her Republican rivals are making false claims about electoral fraud in the main swing state, which Joe Biden won in 2020 by a margin of just over 10,000 votes.
“It’s no surprise that they’re already making false accusations about fraud in this election, but it’s really worrying,” Hobbs said. “Trump is working to put himself in all of these elections so he can install leaders above the rules, change the rules and oversee certification in future elections so they can potentially overturn the will of voters if they don’t. want. the outcome.”