Arizona GOP’s Kari Lake to Announce Senate Bid in October

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AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Arizona Republican Kari Lake, who was last year’s Republican gubernatorial nominee in the Grand Canyon State, will announce her candidacy for U.S. Senate during an October 10 rally in Phoenix.

The Wall Street Journal’s Elia Collins first reported on Lake’s plans on Thursday, having spoken with Lake about her forthcoming announcement.

“We need to get a senator in there who is going to fight back and put America first,” Lake told the outlet.

Lake, a former Fox 10 Phoenix anchor who left the news industry over liberal bias, joins Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb in the Republican primary field. Arizona’s 2022 GOP Senate nominee Blake Masters was reportedly weighing a run, but Collins noted former President Donald Trump spoke with Masters via phone call “and walked through Lake’s strengths in a GOP primary, according to people familiar with the call.”

Masters has since tabled his plans, according to Collins. Notably, Trump endorsed both candidates last year, and they regularly campaigned together. In fact, they visited the border together on a trip with Lamb.

Lake nearly beat Gov. Katie Hobbs (D-AZ) in the 2022 midterm election, taking 49.67 percent of the vote to Hobbs’s 50.33 percent. Masters lost his race to Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) by a slightly wider margin, as they registered at 51.4 percent and 46.5 percent, respectively. Notably, Libertarian candidate Marc Victor garnered 2.1 percent.

Lake has, to this point, unsuccessfully challenged the results of the election. Lately, she has been a Trump surrogate, spending a lot of time in Iowa, where she continues to draw impressive crowds.

She vies for the nomination to participate in what could very well be an unpredictable three-way race in Arizona, as Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), who defected from the Democrat Party in 2022, could launch a reelection bid, and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) has declared his candidacy on the Democrat side of things.

And while national Republicans are beginning to accept that Lake will likely win the GOP primary, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his team need to be convinced she would be competitive in a general election before he commits money in the battleground state, according to those close to McConnell whom the Journal has spoken with:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) hasn’t committed to spending national-campaign cash in the state, and people close to him say they would need to see Lake prove she is able to run a competitive race. Lake said she hopes to meet with McConnell soon and that she would vote for him for leader of the Republican Party if he was the top Republican choice. She is set to meet with Republicans across the ideological spectrum during a Washington, D.C., visit next week.

What is more, Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, complemented Lake’s skills as a campaigner, and Collins noted the NRSC had not decided against backing a particular candidate in the race.

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