CNN expects Democrat Katie Hobbs to win the Arizona governor’s race, defeating one of the most prominent defenders of former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.
Republican Carrie Lake, who has called the 2020 election rigged, has repeatedly said she won’t prove that Joe Biden wins Arizona in 2020. Hobbs, as Arizona’s secretary of state, rejected Republican lies about the election.
Lake’s defeat follows the defeat of two other high-profile election deniers in the state — Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters and secretary of state candidate Mark Finchen.
“Democracy was worth the wait,” Hobbs tweeted Monday night after announcing the race. “Thank you, Arizona. I am honored and proud to be your next Governor.”
Instead of acknowledging Hobbs’ victory, Lake tweeted, “Arizonians know bullshit when they see it.”
The Republican candidate has already begun sowing doubts about the 2022 election results. Appearing on Fox News Monday ahead of the campaign, Lake baselessly called the election “botched.”
“I don’t believe people in Arizona are going to vote for her and she’s going to win. But if that’s what happens at the end of the day, how can you justify the election being so bad?” Lake said.
Speaking on right-wing activist Charlie Kirk’s talk show on Thursday, she said: “I hate that they’re slow, dragging their feet, delaying the inevitable. They don’t want to tell the truth, which is that we won.”
There is no evidence that election officials delayed the results reporting. At a news conference Thursday, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates brought up Lake’s comments. Gates, a Republican, pointed to the election workers behind him who were counting the votes: “It’s offensive for Carilek to say that these people behind me are doing it sluggishly while they’re working 14 to 18 hours.” of.” Through the glass window.
Hours before Hobbs was expected to enter the race, Lake continued to raise questions about the ballot sheets and Hobbs’ ultimate role as secretary of state in certifying votes. “Election officials should not be impartial,” Lake tweeted, referring to Hobbs’ role. “The people who entered the election made it their mission to defeat the first Republican in America. Unbelievable.”
Arizona Assistant Secretary of State Allie Burns dismissed Lake’s suggestion that Hobbs should recuse himself from overseeing the election. In an interview with CNN on Monday night, she noted that Arizona’s elections are “highly fragmented,” with “counties administering elections and counting votes.”
When CNN’s John King pressed the Arizona secretary of state’s exact role in justifying the election, Bones said the process had worked the same way for years: All 15 counties would report their results to the secretary of state’s office, and then to the secretary of state’s office. The Office of Office Report compiled the results and put together the statewide survey. At that point, Burns said, “the secretary will really sign off on it,” but the governor, attorney general and state Supreme Court chief justice will also sign off on the final result.
Lake, a former Fox 10 news anchor in Phoenix, has quickly emerged as one of the preeminent Republicans of 2022 as she and Hobbs race to replace a limited-term Republican governor. Doug Ducey. The outgoing governor had backed Lake’s main opponent, but then backed Lake in the general election.
Hobbs, a former social worker who worked with victims of domestic violence before becoming a state legislator, ran a low-key and understated campaign, limiting her access to reporters and holding meetings with supporters. Small, intimate event. She made democracy and abortion rights a central focus, portraying Lake as an “extreme” and “dangerous” figure who could jeopardize the sanctity of the 2024 presidential election by refusing to certify the results.
She got help in the latter effort from Republican House members. Liz Cheney’s political action committee will spend $500,000 to urge Arizona voters to reject Lake and Finchem’s ads. Lake then tweeted a sarcastic letter thanking Cheney for his “in-kind contribution” — claiming the ad actually helped her campaign. When Hobbs was asked to play Monday night, Cheney responded to Lake’s Oct. 28 tweet with a simple rebuttal: “You’re welcome.”
Barrett Mason, an Arizona Republican consultant who worked for Masters during the Senate primary, spoke about the wisdom of following Trump on Monday night. “It’s over. The only thing Carilek should do now is throw in the towel. This election has taught us one thing: Follow Trump off the cliff and you won’t win the election.”
It’s not just the 2020 election that Lake is keeping tabs on Trump’s playbook. She promised to declare an “invasion” at the border — which she described as an effort to amass greater powers for the governor’s office to address the immigration crisis — and called for the arrest of the two Dr. Anthony Fauci and her Democratic opponent.
Before announcing her bid, Lake — who resigned from her anchor job in 2021 after becoming a household name in Phoenix — said she didn’t like the direction journalism was headed. In one of her campaign videos, she said she was striking “left-wing lies and propaganda” with a sledgehammer as she destroyed television sets with a tool she wore in her stiletto boots.
She lashed out at the way Democratic leaders have handled the Covid-19 pandemic, dismissing her main opponents – slamming restrictions like wearing masks as unnecessary and harmful to children. She has welcomed comparisons to Trump towards the end of the campaign – saying at an event that she was delighted when an admirer called her “Trump in a dress”.
Lake painted Hobbs as a coward after he declined to debate her opponent this fall. Hobbs’ campaign argued that the debate with Lake “resulted in nothing but constant interruptions, pointless distractions and childish insults.”
In an interview with CNN, Hobbs noted that Lake had repeatedly called for her arrest and said her remarks had resulted in “threats of violence and harassment against me.” In turn, Lake described her opponent’s response as weak, arguing that if Hobbs did not agree to debate her, “she couldn’t stand up to the cartel.”
This story has been updated with additional developments.