Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake won her state’s primary Thursday in a tight race against opponent Karrin Taylor Robson.
Her victory was delayed due to the race remaining too close to call. Lake garnered 46.8% of the vote, while Taylor Robson narrowly tied her with 44 percent, The New York Times reported Thursday night.
Lake prematurely declared victory early Wednesday while addressing a crowd of supporters. She suggested that election officials were delaying the race as they did not want her to win.
A strong supporter of former President Donald Trump, she ran a large portion of her platform on the results of the 2020 presidential election, which she claimed to be fraudulent. She claimed the so-called “rigged election” is the “biggest story out there.”
Taylor Robson has been vague in her response about the 2020 election results, stating they were “not fair” and highlighting changes in election laws, Ballotpedia reported. She recently refused to directly answer whether she accepts the results of the election in an interview with CNN’s Brianna Keilar, saying President Joe Biden is the “wrong guy in the White House.”
Lakes’ claims contradict the findings of federal election security officials, who said the 2020 election was the “most secure in American history,” and there was no evidence of widespread election fraud after recounts.
A previous CNN segment called Lake a “rising star of the right-wing” and “proud spreader of lies” about the 2020 election, before turning to an interview between her and CNN senior national reporter Kyung Lah, where the candidate accused Lah of not “giving a damn” about election integrity. (RELATED: ‘I’m Actually Appalled’: GOP Arizona Candidate Kari Lake And Bret Baier Get Into Heated Exchange Over Drag Queen Story)
Tensions also arose between the two leading candidates, as Lake said she “detect[ed] some stealing going on” in the weeks ahead of the primary election. Taylor Robson called her statements “meritless” in a July 26 tweet.
“The more Kari Lake panics she is going to lose this #AZgov election, the more she attempts to sow doubt about its results,” she wrote in the tweet. “Her allegations are meritless, reckless and disqualifying in someone who seeks the will of the governed in leading our state.”
Lake’s accusations arose as an OH Predictive Insights poll found Lake and Taylor Robson in a tight race, with Lake garnering 39% support and Taylor Robson gaining 31% favorability in early July. Those numbers changed to largely favor Lake by the end of the month, standing at 51%-33% in favor of Lake. The poll surveyed 502 likely Republican voters on July 27 with a 4.37% margin of error.
The Republican nominee has vowed to strengthen border security, declare the influx of migrants an “invasion” and deploy National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border on day one. During an interview with Just The News, she said the federal government is not upholding its responsibilities listed in Article IV of the Constitution, which guarantees the federal government’s role to “protect” American citizens from invasion.
“We’re going to finish President Trump’s wall. On Day One, I will issue a declaration of invasion, we’re going to send our troops down to the border, Arizona National Guard troops, and we’re going to arm them and allow them to arrest and detain people until we process them and send them back over the border,” she said.
Lake received the endorsements of Trump, Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn, and Republican Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. She received additional endorsements from the Conservative Political Action Coalition and the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, according to Ballotpedia.
Lake led the polls by an average of 8.5 percentage points, according to RealClear Politics.