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Trump-backed Kari Lake wins GOP nomination for Arizona governor

Kari Lake defeated Karrin Taylor Robson in Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial primary, AP reports, propelling the Trump-endorsed candidate right into a general election where she’s favored to end up being the state’s 24th governor.

Driving the news headlines: The former Fox 10 anchor took the race by storm this past year, becoming the immediate frontrunner with a method and message that closely emulated former President Trump.

  • Lake’s campaign has been seen as a her combative style, anti-establishment rhetoric and unflinching support for Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was rigged against him.

Flashback: Lake declared victory on Wednesday with about 186,000 votes left to count in the principal.

The battle between Lake and Robson became a proxy war between Trump and the establishment wing of the GOP.

Between your lines: Despite spending a lot more than $20 million on her behalf campaign, the majority of it self-funding, Robson was never in a position to overcome Lake’s advantage.

  • The developer and former regent gained momentum late in the race with an enormous, sustained TV advertising blitz.
  • Robson also waged an unrelenting attack ad campaign against Lake, hitting her for adding to Barack Obama in 2008, questioning her conservative credentials and dubbing her “Fake Lake.”
  • Just about any poll of the race that has been ever publicly released showed Lake leading, and despite her financial advantage she was never in a position to overcome that lead.

The intrigue: Lake and Ducey will will have to bury the hatchet because they pivot to the overall election.

  • Ducey may be the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, which includes already reserved about $10.6 million worth of airtime for the overall election.
  • Lake has been harshly critical of Ducey on his reaction to COVID-19 along with other issues.
  • Still, Ducey’s job as RGA chair would be to win gubernatorial races for the GOP, also it would reflect badly on him if the Democrats won the race in their own state.

What’s next: Lake will probably face Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in the overall election. Many Democrats viewed Lake because the easier opponent for Hobbs.

Yes, but: That is still Arizona, which, despite Democratic gains in the past few elections, continues to be a predominantly red state, which is still likely to be considered a Republican wave year.

Of note: Hobbs, who’s served as Arizona’s top election official since 2019, gained national prominence following the 2020 election fighting exactly the same bogus election fraud allegations that Lake has spent days gone by year spreading.

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