Trump chose Lake over a packed Republican field that also includes state Treasurer Kimberly Yee, former Congressman Matt Salmon and Arizona Board of Regents member Karrin Taylor Robson.
The leading Democratic candidate is Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a fierce defender of the state’s elections systems who has seen her profile rise amid the sham audit. She said in part in a Tuesday night statement that “Arizonans are sick and tired of our government being run by conspiracy theorists – like Kari Lake – who wasted our taxpayer dollars and breached voters’ trust in their effort to discredit the 2020 election.”
In a statement announcing his endorsement of Lake, Trump said her years as a broadcast journalist mean that “few can take on the Fake News Media like Kari.”
“She is strong on Crime, will protect our Border, Second Amendment, Military, and Vets, and will fight to restore Election Integrity (both past and future!),” he said. “She is against Covid lockdowns, Cancel Culture, and will end ‘woke’ curriculum in our schools. She will do a far better job than RINO Governor Doug Ducey–won’t even be a contest!”
The shot at Ducey was a continuation of Trump’s long-running feud with the term-limited Republican governor, who has refused to back Trump’s efforts to undo the state’s 2020 election results.
President Joe Biden narrowly defeated Trump in Arizona last year. But since then, Trump and his Republican allies have sought to reverse that defeat. Republicans in the state Senate commissioned a months-long review of Maricopa County’s 2.1 million ballots. That partisan review yielded a final vote tally that was virtually identical to the county’s November results, even though Cyber Ninjas, the inexperienced firm that conducted it, misapplied standard election procedures and cast unfounded doubt on tens of thousands of votes.
Lake is a former television anchor for Fox 10 Phoenix who entered politics this year, launching her campaign with a media-bashing video and an appetite for Trump’s culture wars.
She has railed against mask mandates, called for aggressive border enforcement and promised to “finish the damn wall.” She has also repeated Trump’s baseless lies about election fraud, calling for Arizona’s results in the 2020 general election to be decertified – something that’s not legally possible.
This story has been updated with a statement from Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs.