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Kari Lake, who falsely claims she’s the ‘lawful governor’ of AZ, files to run for U.S. Senate

By: - October 3, 2023 5:05 pm

Kari Lake speaks at a campaign event in Scottsdale on Oct. 19, 2022, as an attendee records her on a cell phone. Photo by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror

Kari Lake has filed paperwork to begin a run for U.S. Senate in 2024, even as she contends she was actually elected Arizona’s governor in 2022 and continues to wage a legal battle seeking to throw out her loss to Katie Hobbs. 

Lake is expected to officially launch her campaign on Oct. 10

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In last fall’s general election Lake, a Republican, lost the governor’s race to Hobbs, a Democrat. The loss followed an acrimonious campaign during which Lake and her team frequently attacked Hobbs for being unwilling to debate, and went after the “fake news” media, which Lake repeatedly claimed cannot be trusted. 

Lake was a local news anchor for Fox 10 in Phoenix for more than 20 years before quitting in 2021, saying that she did so because the media was pushing a biased and immoral agenda

Lake has still not conceded the 2022 race she lost by more than 17,000 votes, repeatedly challenging the results of the race in Maricopa County Superior Court, the Arizona Court of Appeals and the state Supreme Court.

So far, Lake has lost two trials in Maricopa County Superior Court, with her appeal to the results of the second trial currently pending

During those trials, and in frequent appearances on far-right podcasts and talk shows, Lake has accused Maricopa County — and Hobbs, who was secretary of state before being elected governor — of running corrupt elections with fraudulent results. 

None of the judges in the trial, appeals and supreme courts who have heard her cases or made judgments on her claims found any credible evidence of fraud, ballot stuffing or any other illegal or nefarious activity during the 2022 general election in Maricopa County. 

That has not stopped Lake and her supporters from continuing to claim that she is the true governor of Arizona, a full 10 months after Hobbs took office and nearly a year after Lake lost the election. In an autobiography she published earlier this year, Lake claimed to be the “lawful governor” of Arizona.

Lake took her claims so far that Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, who Lake has continuously maligned, filed a defamation lawsuit against her in June for making false claims about him and his part in running elections in Maricopa County. 

Shortly after her filing with the FEC was publicized, Richer took to the social media site X, formerly Twitter, to comment. 

“Just a reminder that if you really believed that the 2020 and 2022 elections were rigged and controlled by the people behind the curtain, thereby depriving the candidate of all agency, you wouldn’t rationally run for election in 2024,” Richer wrote

In between filing court cases and trolling on X, Lake has spent much of the last several months criss-crossing the country campaigning for Trump, and was at one time rumored to be a likely vice-presidential pick.  

With her official campaign announcement pending, Lake will join in the race with Democrat Ruben Gallego, a congressman from Phoenix, who announced his Senate run back in January. 

Kyrsten Sinema, who was elected as a Democrat but announced she was leaving the party to become an independent last December, currently holds that U.S. Senate seat, but has not yet officially announced a run for reelection. However, a memo that was leaked last week detailed Sinema’s intention to attempt to attract both Republican and Democratic voters, to whom candidates on both sides of the “extreme” don’t appeal.

***CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego as a former congressman from District 7; he currently represents District 3.

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Caitlin Sievers
Caitlin Sievers

Caitlin joined the Arizona Mirror in 2022 with almost 10 years of experience as a reporter and editor, holding local government leaders accountable from newsrooms across the West and Midwest. She's won statewide awards in Nebraska, Indiana and Wisconsin for reporting, photography and commentary.

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