By Terri Jo Neff |
On Wednesday, Kari Lake declared herself victorious in the Republican primary election for governor. On Thursday, the rest of the state followed.
Lake has nearly 19,800 more votes than her main challenger, Karrin Taylor Robson, as of Thursday night. She was one of several candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and former Vice President Mike Pence had endorsed Taylor Robson, who held a commanding six point lead when the first results were announced around 8 p.m. Election Day. However, that margin continued to shrink as updated results were announced throughout the late evening hours.
With nearly 200,000 ballots across the state still needing to be tabulated as of Wednesday morning, election observers predicted Lake would likely receive the majority of the still-to-be-counted votes. They pointed to the Lake campaign’s well-executed “get out the vote” promotion for election day.
Those predictions held true throughout Wednesday as additional results were announced. Lake quickly pushed ahead of Taylor Robson and held a small lead all day.
Then on Thursday, Lake’s margin of victory continued to expand as the bulk of the previously unreported votes were announced. Shortly after 7 p.m., the Associated Press declared Lake the winner. Her margin of victory is holding at just less than three percent.
Lake was brutally critical of Taylor Robson during the primary but hopes her main challenger “will come over” to support Lake’s campaign against the Democratic nominee, current Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
“We don’t maybe agree on every single thing. but I think we agree on the most important issues of the day,” Lake said of Taylor Robson. “And I believe that Karrin will come in because I know for a fact Karrin loves this state.”
The Republican Governors Association (RGA) released a statement late Thursday congratulating Lake on her victory. Ducey, who is co-chairman of the RGA, was not quoted in the statement. Instead, the comments came from RGA Vice-Chair Kim Reynolds, the governor of Iowa.
“From tackling Biden’s border crisis, to standing up for law enforcement, or keeping Arizona’s economy growing, Kari is ready to fight for Arizona,” according to Reynolds. “In contrast, Katie Hobbs is nothing more than a radical far-left politician whose open borders, anti-law enforcement views are completely out of step with mainstream Arizona.”
Lake and Taylor Robson led a field of five Republicans seeking to take on Hobbs. One of those candidates was former Congressman Matt Salmon, who withdrew from the race in late June, past the deadline for having his name removed from the ballot.
Salmon received more than 27,700 primary votes despite throwing his support to Taylor Robson. Nearly 86 percent of those voters would have had to follow Salmon over to the Taylor Robson camp in order hold off Lake.
The other Republican candidates were Scott David Neely, who received almost 23,000 votes, and Paola “Z” Tulliani-Zen, who received nearly 15,500 votes.