Democrat Katie Hobbs is leading Republican Kari Lake in the Arizona gubernatorial race with just over half of the constituency reports, and while a lot could change as the ballots are counted, the GOP nominee is already casting doubt on the election results.
Lake won the GOP primary after amplifying former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 presidential election, falsely insisting the election was rigged and stolen. And while current margins may change drastically as the votes are counted, Lake suggests without any evidence that there could be issues with Tuesday’s results. (Hobbs, as Secretary of State, pushed back on GOP efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.)
In a speech Tuesday night at her election night headquarters, Lake said she felt like it was “Groundhog Day.”
“We had November 3, 2020, it was called incompetence 101,” Lake said. She went on to suggest there was “incompetence” at play in both the August primary and Tuesday’s election – a not-so-subtle critique of her opponent’s scrutiny of the election. It was not immediately clear what she was referring to, but there was no evidence of widespread fraud.
“We need honest elections and we’re going to bring them to you, Arizona, I assure you. The system we have right now is not working,” Lake said. She later told her supporters to be patient and said she was confident she would win.
Hobbs also addressed her supporters on Tuesday night, saying the campaign felt good about what they were seeing.
“I know we’re all anxious to find out who won each of these incredibly important races, but we’ll have to be patient and wait for every vote to be counted,” she said in prepared remarks for the delivery. “We know that my opponent and his allies have sown doubt and confusion throughout this campaign, and it is unacceptable that they are spreading misinformation today as people exercised their right to vote.”
The four GOP candidates leading the ticket in Arizona echoed Trump’s lies about the 2020 election. And right-wing media seized on tabulation issues in Maricopa County earlier Tuesday to raise the idea of fraud — despite assurances to the contrary from county officials — in a clear echo of some conservatives’ repeated attempts to cast doubt on Maricopa’s 2020 results.
Arizona is a key battleground this year for the Governor and Senate and likely will be again for the President in 2024, prompting warnings from leading Democratic figures, including former President Barack Obama, that the The GOP’s adoption of Trump’s election lies and conspiracy theories could put democracy at risk. if they were to take power.
Charlie Kirk, the founder and president of the right-wing group Turning Point USA, tweeted a false claim about two-hour wait times in Maricopa County, which has been the site of repeated partisan “audits” in 2020. A Maricopa County judge on Tuesday night rejected an offer by Republicans to extend voting hours by three hours, saying there was no evidence voters were prevented from exercising their right to vote.
Lake has repeatedly said she would not have certified Joe Biden winning Arizona in 2020.
The former Fox 10 Phoenix news anchor quickly became one of the hottest candidates of the 2022 cycle as she and Hobbs vied to replace Republican limited-time Gov. Doug Ducey.
Lake has closely followed Trump’s playbook on more than the 2020 election. She vowed to declare an ‘invasion’ on the border – in what she described as an effort to increase the power of the office of the governor to deal with the migrant crisis – and she called for the arrest of Dr Anthony Fauci and his Democratic opponent. .
Before announcing her candidacy, Lake quit as an anchor in 2021 – saying she didn’t like the direction journalism was going – after becoming a household name in Phoenix. In one of her campaign videos, she said she took a hammer for “lies and left-wing propaganda”, as she smashed TVs with the tool in stiletto boots.
Watch the Republican elections official answer voting questions from skeptics
– Source: CNN
She dispatched her main opponents with her forceful denunciations of Democratic leaders’ handling of the Covid-19 pandemic – blasting restrictions like masking as unnecessary and harmful to children. She welcomed comparisons to Trump throughout the end of the campaign – professing at one event that she was thrilled when an admirer called her “Trump in a dress”.
Hobbs, a former social worker who worked with victims of domestic violence before becoming a state legislator, campaigned much more low-key and low-key, limiting her access to reporters and hosting small, intimate events with supporters.
She has made democracy and abortion rights her central focus, portraying Lake as an “extreme” and “dangerous” figure who could compromise the sanctity of the 2024 presidential election by refusing to certify the results.
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