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Kari Lake Just Won’t Go Away

Kari Lake
Kari Lake speaking with supporters at a Birthday campaign rally at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Scottsdale Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Arizona’s Kari Lake can’t stay out of the news without saying something controversial. The former television anchor lost her 2022 gubernatorial race to Katie Hobbs and then has been disappointed by court rulings against her. Kari Lake has taken on a quixotic journey to get the results thrown out in order to hold an additional round of voting in a new election.

Election Officials are ‘Crooks’

She was on the warpath in a speech given to the Turning Point USA’s America Fest in Phoenix in December. Kari Lake told the conservative audience that she was fed up with election officials in Maricopa County. “These people are crooks, they need to be locked up.”

She Tells the Media Where to Go 

Kari Lake also said she is now a “proud election-denying deplorable.” To top it off, she gave an obscene “up yours” gesture to the media during the address.

Legal Efforts Are Crumbling 

Lake has been disappointed that her legal journey has been filled with potholes as an appeals court has just ruled against her quest to overturn the election.

It Started with Technical Difficulties on Election Day

The rightwing firebrand has focused her efforts on election-day difficulties with ballot printers in Maricopa County. Lake only lost by 17,000 votes so she thought voters were disenfranchised by the snafu and the nefarious deeds of election workers changed the outcome of the election. She claimed problems were an intentional effort to deny her the votes she needed to win. The conspiracy centers around Hobbs, who was secretary of state at the time.

Kari Lake believes election officials who were controlled by Hobbs acted fraudulently and mishandled ballots.

Not Enough Evidence for Appeals Court to Rule in Her Favor

But Lake’s assertions have been short on evidence and the courts have noted the weakness of her case. The Arizona Appeals Court ruled against Lake on February 16.

“Her request for relief fails because the evidence presented to the superior court ultimately supports the court’s conclusion that voters were able to cast their ballots, that votes were counted correctly, and that no other basis justifies setting aside the election results,” the court said.

She May Run for U.S. Senate

Lake is not giving up and said she will appeal the case to the Arizona Supreme Court. Moreover, her political career may not be over. Kari Lake has shown interest in running for the U.S. Senate against Kyrsten Sinema. She could be a frontrunner since Trump could endorse the failed gubernatorial candidate again in the Republican primary for senate. 

She Can’t Stay Out of the Spotlight

Lake is making calculated moves to stay in the public eye. The more she fights on the legal front the more media coverage she gains. She is speaking at the raucous conservative gathering CPAC in early March and her election denial conspiracies will be front and center.

One thing Lake excels at is whipping MAGA faithful to a frenzy in rallies.

Guerrilla Campaign Didn’t Work

For Lake to be successful, she may want to change her campaign tactics. In the governor’s race she ran an unorthodox insurgent campaign. She had a small and untested staff, she refused to take instruction or hire more experienced political consultants, and she ran few television commercials.

KariLake believed her name recognition developed by a career in broadcast news did not require more ads. She figured the earned media coverage from her rallies and other public appearances would carry her successfully over the finish line. 

Too Trumpy for Moderates

But Lake’s thunderous combative style that hailed Trump and his claims that the 2020 election was stolen may have put off independent voters in a state that has been trending away from the Republicans in recent years. 

Lake likely has no plans of changing her ways. She could win the primary again and fall flat in the general for her senate quest. Voters sometimes do not like sore losers who focus on the past and instead prefer candidates who can solve problems in the present.

Kari Lake has embraced election denial and as a result she may be deprived of higher office again.

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Author Expertise and Experience

Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.