Outspoken Trump-backed governor candidate in Arizona, Kari Lake, has been defeated by Democrat Katie Hobbs - in another blow to the Republicans in the midterms.
Lake has become a prominent name within the GOP, after peddling false claims that the 2020 election was stolen. Her rise through the ranks has even given some a reason to suggest her as a prospective Vice President candidate for Donald Trump’s possible 2024 run.
However, Lake has fallen at the first hurdle of her political career, with CBS News projecting the Arizona governorship to Hobbs. Lake has already raised doubts over the ballot, much in the fashion of the rhetoric that Donald Trump had the 2020 presidential election “stolen” from him.
There is no indication that there have been any voting issues in this election, however this what Kari Lake and Katie Hobbs said about the situation.
What did Kari Lake say about election ballots in Arizona?
The claims of inconsistencies with ballots came early in the election day. Lake said on social media that she had been notified of faulty voting machines within minutes of polls opening. As result came in through the night, Hobbs had taken a lead over Lake. This led to Lake raising unfounded questions over the legitimacy of the election process in Arizona.
The Republican candidate told her supporters at an election watch party in Scottsdale, Arizona: "How do you get free and fair elections? You have to fight to make them fair and free. We had November 3, 2020, [US Presidential Election] that was called incompetency 101. We need honest elections and we’re going to bring them to you, Arizona, I assure you of that. The system we have right now does not work.”
She has since claimed on social media that not all votes have been counted and that election officials are not impartial. She also said that “Arizonans know BS when they see it”.
What has Katie Hobbs said?
In her victory statement, Hobbs said that she would work for everyone in Arizona. She added: “Even in this moment of division, I believe there is so much more that connects us.”
She tweeted: “Democracy is worth the wait. Thank you, Arizona. I am so honored and so proud to be your next Governor.”
Is Kari Lake claiming she won?
While Lake has not outright claimed a false victory in the governor race, her suggestion of election fraud has signalled that she may continue to cast doubt on the results going forward. Lake, who was thoroughly backed by Trump, has been a prominent election denier all through her campaign, backing the former president’s claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent and that Joe Biden is not the legitimate leader of the country.
Other Republican candidates who denied the 2020 election results had been vying for a range of different seats across the US. Voters have been vocal with their ballot with prominent Trump supporters such as Tudor Dixon in Michigan and Tim Michels in Wisconsin losing their election races to their Democratic counterparts.
With 98% of the vote counted CBS and AP called the race for Hobbs on Monday night. She had won 50.4 of the vote - with 1,267,241 ballots - to Lake’s 49.6% of the vote - 1,247,859 ballots.