Arizona’s Kari Lake hasn’t conceded and has raised millions of dollars since losing
The former Arizona gubernatorial candidate says she should be declared the winner of last year’s race
Former Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake narrowly lost last year’s election, but she’s continued to falsely claim she won and said she should be instated as the state’s governor as she’s raised millions of dollars.
“We cannot have the election stand,” Lake said in an interview on a conservative radio talk show shared by the Republican Accountability Project Thursday. “The judge should declare me the rightful winner, I am the rightful winner, and we should move on and reclaim our government, our state government.”
Lake said the state government had been “hijacked and stolen by a bunch of people who know this election was fraudulent” and claimed “the cartels are running our state.”
Lake, a former Phoenix TV news host, has filed a suit seeking to overturn the election results. The Arizona Supreme Court, whose judges were all appointed by Republicans, denied her appeal on Wednesday. She made election denialism central to her campaign, saying she wouldn’t have certified President Joe Biden’s win in the state had she been governor at the time.
Lake hasn’t conceded the race she lost to Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs last November by more than 17,000 votes, outside the margin triggering a state-mandated recount. She’s continuing to campaign and will hold a rally Sunday in Scottsdale.
Election denialism has been lucrative for Lake, who’s raised more than $2.5 million since losing, according to the Arizona Mirror, an independent nonprofit news outlet. Lake has claimed she was raising money to contest the election results, but the Mirror found less than 10% of the cash she’s raised has gone to lawyers. She’s also raised money through the Save Arizona Fund, a nonprofit created in December, according to the Mirror.
Lake has claimed last year’s election was sabotaged. Although printing issues at some voting locations delayed some ballots from being immediately counted, there is no evidence eligible voters were disenfranchised.
A review of cast vote data in Maricopa County found Lake’s loss could be attributed to the actions of tens of thousands of Republican-leaning voters in the state’s largest county who either voted for Hobbs, didn’t vote for governor or wrote another candidate in. Hobbs won endorsements from Republicans including Mesa Mayor John Giles and former Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who said during the campaign that she would vote for Hobbs if she was registered in the state.
Lake has been floated as a potential U.S. Senate candidate next year, and an early poll from Public Policy Polling found her leading with 41% support ahead of Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, who announced his candidacy this week, and incumbent and independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in a theoretical three-way race.