TookOakal News anchor Kari Lake declined to announce that Joe Biden had won Arizona on election night two years ago. Now, he’s the telegenic new face of maga republicanism, possibly poised to become the state’s next governor.
With early voting, the poll shows Lake in dead heat with her rival Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s Democratic Secretary of State. The contest will test the strength of Donald Trump’s lasting influence on the Republican Party and its supporters. And the whole enterprise of free elections in Arizona hangs in the balance.
If Lake wins, his administration will oversee 2024 elections in a key state that could help determine who wins the presidency. She could work with the likes of Mark Finchem, the right-wing Oath Keeper who is running to become the state’s top election official. Already, she has said she will accept the 2022 election results only if it is “fair, honest and transparent” by her standards, refusing to say whether she will accept defeat.
The night Lake won the Republican primary, she walked on stage with a sledgehammer and vowed to use it on electronic voting machines if she was elected governor. Instead of machines, Lake wants to use hand counting to tabulate elections—a method that is both more time-consuming and less accurate—as well as insisting that results must be declared on Election Day. . She has threatened to penalize journalists for publishing material she disagrees with and could imprison her opponent on fictitious charges of election rigging.
“We are dealing with a really dangerous candidate,” said Alejandra Gomez, co-director of the progressive advocacy group Lucha. “This election is incredibly consequential for the future of our democracy.”
For 22 years, Lake was a familiar face on local TV—Fox 10 was delivering the evening news in Phoenix in his smooth, deep voice. But on election night of 2020, he resisted calling the polls for Biden, as his co-anchors awkwardly insisted they follow protocol.
Lake had become involved in the far-right social media platform Parlor in recent years, and left an online trail of implied support of right-wing posts and conspiracy theories, much to the management of her station. But it was his sudden and dramatic resignation that laid the foundation for his future political career.
“I found myself reading a copy of the news, which I didn’t believe was completely true,” she said in March 2021, announcing that she was leaving. “I’ve decided the time is right to do something else.”
A few months later, Lake said she was running for governor—almost immediately launching herself into right-wing stardom.
In August, he defeated his GOP establishment-backed rival to win the primary, and has since managed to garner the support of the outgoing Republican governor, Doug Ducey, and the state’s large Republican donors.
Instead of a network crew, it is now her husband, Jeff Halperin, who serves as her videographer. Halperin, a freelance producer, follows Lake and captures practically her every move, including belligerent exchanges with reporters. promote on social media.
Lake’s podium in the race is now unlike its own from a few years ago. In 2008, Lake was a registered Democrat and Donation For the Democratic presidential campaigns of John Kerry and Barack Obama. In 2016, Lake proposed a plan to provide amnesty For undocumented immigrants. Today, she says she will declare an “invasion” on the southern border and espouse the white supremacist “Great Replacement” theory in describing immigrants.
He once believed A local drag queen used to be a friend and frequent demonstrations, but now runs ads featuring an extremist homophobic pastor and attacks the cast as a threat to children.
She is also confused on abortion. The vast majority of Arizonans believe that abortion should be legal, at least in some cases. the lake is called Abortion “the last sin” and Arizona’s state-backed ban, however, has been granted in recent weeks. confused message about his attitude. Lake also told a convention of young, conservative women that “God did not create us to be equal to men.”
Lake’s campaign did not respond to multiple requests for an interview, and declined to answer specific questions about his past politics. He Told Time magazine said it had previously supported Democrats in their opposition to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Lake’s broad appeal has surprised both Democrats and moderate Republicans, especially given that many of his pro-ideologies are more radical and right-wing than most Arizona voters.
Former colleagues and friends have said they are concerned by her sudden conversion to Maga Republicanism, while political pundits have speculated that the change is real or a clever career calculation.
Regardless, it seems to be working. His almost daily campaign schedules have become a sensation. In recent weeks, his intimate reception with donors, and his rallies with fellow right-wing politicians across the country, have drawn supporters across demographic groups.
Of all the far-right, Trump-backed Republicans in this election cycle, Lake may have the most star power. Trump himself has asked other candidates to be like him. Republican Insiders Are Already speculation That she could be Trump’s vice-presidential candidate in 2024, or run for president herself.
“You can call me Trump in a dress any day,” she told the crowd at a recent rally, embracing comparisons of herself to the former president.
Over the past few months, Hobbes’ calm, sometimes stern demeanor has been no match for Lake’s larger-than-life personality. At a town hall event organized by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Lake allegedly positioned himself in the front row in an apparent stunt designed to trick his opponent. He was eventually kicked out of the room – but it seemed to work. Hobbs gave an uneven performance, faltering on softball questions.