Trump-backed Kari Lake refuses to concede Arizona gubernatorial race

More than three days after the Arizona governor race was called by the Associated Press and other major news organizations for Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs, Trump-endorsed Republican candidate Kari Lake has refused to concede the race.

Kari Lake, Arizona Republican candidate for governor, speaks to supporters at the Republican watch party in Scottsdale, Ariz., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. [AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File]

Seemingly confirming her intentions to challenge the election results, on her official Twitter account Thursday morning, Lake told her supporters that she is “still in this fight.”

Centering her endorsement of former president Donald Trump’s fascist lie that the 2020 election was stolen, Lake said that “for two years” she had “been sounding the alarm on our broken election system.”

Inciting violence against Republican election officials who oversaw the vote counting in highly populous Maricopa County, Lake said “our election officials failed us miserably” and what “happened to Arizonans on election day is unforgivable.”

As of this writing, over 99 percent of the votes have been counted in Arizona, with Lake trailing Hobbs by over 16,000 votes. Lake would have to win over 99 percent of the remaining votes, the vast majority of which are in Democratic-leaning Maricopa County, to defeat Hobbs.

Lake had telegraphed her intention to challenge the election results on social media the previous night. In a montage video set to Tom Petty’s “I won’t back down,” Lake was shown wielding a gun or a hammer four times in 90 seconds. Since last Tuesday, Lake has claimed, without evidence, that the election results were “BS” and “botched.”

Images from Kari Lake campaign video released on Wednesday, November 16, 2022. [Photo: Kari Lake @KariLake (Screengrab WSWS)]

In the video posted Thursday, Lake used footage of voters waiting in lines to claim that a systematic disenfranchisement campaign was deliberately undertaken against her and her supporters. While there were issues with some vote tabulators and printers on election day, voters were not in any way prevented from casting their ballots. Nor did these problems affect Republican precincts more than Democratic ones.

Vowing to pursue legal avenues, Lake said she had assembled “the best and brightest legal team” to “correct the many wrongs that have done this past week.”

Shortly after posting her video, Lake, according to a report in the Washington Post, attended a “luncheon” hosted by the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort compound in Florida. The defeated gubernatorial candidate, and possible vice presidential candidate for Trump, “received a standing ovation when she entered the luncheon,” the Post reported.

An agenda on the group’s website states that the purpose of the November 17-18 AFPI Gala and Experience is to: “Ensure policies are prepared and finalized for new sessions of Congress and the state house.”

No doubt Lake discussed with Trump her next steps in challenging the election results Arizona. On his Truth Social media account, Trump has repeatedly claimed (without evidence) that Lake is being cheated in Arizona.

According to several media reports, part of Lake’s calculation in challenging the results rests on the outcome of the Arizona attorney general race, which has yet to be called as of this writing, and will be subject to a recount, given the razor-thin margin.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Democratic candidate, former Republican Kris Mayes, led the Trump-endorsed Republican candidate Abraham Hamadeh by just 55 votes. Mayes had started Thursday leading Hamadeh by 711 votes.

Abraham Hamadeh posing in his US Army uniform with a pistol on his campaign website while deployed in Saudi Arabia. [Photo: Abraham Hamadeh (screengrab WSWS)]

Hamadeh is a former prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and currently an intelligence officer in the US Army Reserve. He earned Trump’s endorsement by vociferously backing the unconstitutional theory that the 2020 election could be “decertified.” Hamadeh has said that if it was up to him he would not have certified Arizona’s 2020 election results.

While Lake and 14 other non-incumbent “election denying” Republican gubernatorial candidates endorsed by Trump lost their elections, the politics of “Make America Great Again” fascism will dominate the upcoming Republican-controlled Congress.

While Lake was meeting with Trump and other Republican operatives in Florida, in Washington D.C., Trump’s senior political adviser and speechwriter, the fascistic Stephen Miller, was meeting with possible future Republican speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy.

Loading Tweet ...
Tweet not loading? See it directly on Twitter

In an interview Monday on the War Room podcast with former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, Georgia representative and fascist Marjorie Taylor Greene revealed that she would be supporting McCarthy as speaker, as opposed to her “friend” and fellow “Stop the Steal” organizer, Arizona Representative Andy Biggs.

Greene told Bannon she was 'terrified' that the Democrats were working with “RINOs” [Republicans in Name Only] to elect their own speaker; outgoing Wyoming Representative and vice chair of the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, Liz Cheney.

“There is no way in hell I will let that happen,” Greene told Bannon.