Kari Lake announced her candidacy Tuesday for the Senate seat in Arizona currently held by Kyrsten Sinema, but wasted no time attacking her opponents.
In a late-Friday post on X (formerly Twitter), Lake slammed her competitor, incumbent Arizona Democrat Rep. Ruben Gallego, over his alleged personal conduct after Gallego attacked her position on abortion. “Ruben, you left your wife when she was 9 months pregnant. Maybe you should sit this one out,” Lake responded.
Ruben, you left your wife when she was 9 months pregnant. Maybe you should sit this one out. pic.twitter.com/pAVA5Twmkq
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) October 14, 2023
Lake was responding to an image Gallego posted attributing a partial quote to her, which read, “And I think we are going to be paving the way and setting the course for other states to follow.”
The origin of the alleged quote was not provided in the image. The only immediate context was offered by Gallego’s caption, “Kari Lake is ‘incredibly thrilled’ to ban abortion. She’s too dangerous for Arizona.” In the clash, neither side gave more context to Lake’s alleged quote.
Lake’s response was in reference to Gallego’s divorce from his wife of six years in 2016. At the time Gallego announced his impending divorce on Facebook, Arizona news outlets reported Ruben’s then-wife, Kate, would soon be expecting their first and only child. Gallego and his wife eventually divorced in 2017, with Gallego remarrying another woman, Sydney Barron, in 2021.
Abortion has played a major role in recent elections, including the 2022 midterms. Since the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson, which struck down Roe v. Wade and returned the issue of abortion to the states, abortion has remained a hot-button issue, especially in battleground states like Arizona. (RELATED: PETER BOWE: Republicans’ Abortion Extremism Will Lose In 2024)
Polling just before the 2022 midterms indicated that abortion was a motivating factor for 60% of female voters, according to an Economist/YouGov poll. Numerous ballot initiatives in Kansas, Michigan and Ohio that were seen as either direct or indirect referendums on abortion have delivered defeats to the pro-life movement. Many have speculated the abortion issue could be deleterious to Republicans’ relationship with suburban women, according to NPR.
Lake’s campaign website notes that she opposes a national abortion ban, stating, “Arizona’s law currently allows abortions up to 15 weeks, and Kari does not support a federal ban on abortion. Abortion is, as the courts decided, an issue for states to decide, not the federal government.” (RELATED: Kari Lake Files To Run For U.S. Senate)
Gallego’s campaign website marked out the opposite position, indicating support for federal legislation to recreate abortion rights nationally. “As your Senator, Ruben will continue to champion the right to choose—starting by waiving the filibuster to codify federal protection for Roe v. Wade,” the website reads.
Sinema has yet to formally declare her candidacy for reelection to her seat and her website does not describe her position on abortion (or any issue) before this next election in 2024. Sinema did, however, introduce bipartisan legislation with Senators Kaine, Murkowski and Collins to codify Roe v. Wade into law.