Trump-backed Kari Lake wins Arizona Republican gubernatorial primary

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Kari Lake has won the Republican nomination for governor in Arizona’s primary election, the Associated Press called Thursday evening.

For days, the hotly contested race between former TV news anchor Kari Lake and real estate developer and Arizona Board of Regents member Karrin Taylor Robson was too close to call as Lake’s lead was fewer than 12,000 votes.  

As of Wednesday morning, Lake had 46.2% of the vote, and Taylor Robson had 44.5% in the Republican primary. Lake will now look to succeed term-limited Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican.

Lake on Tuesday night predicted in a speech to supporters at a primary election night rally that she is “winning this 100%” and claimed that there’s “no path to victory for my opponent. We won this race.”

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Former President Trump embraces Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake at a rally on July 22, 2022, in Prescott Valley, Arizona.

Former President Trump embraces Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake at a rally on July 22, 2022, in Prescott Valley, Arizona. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The primary showdown turned into a bit of a proxy war between former President Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.

The former president last year endorsed Lake, who is a strong supporter of Trump’s repeated and unproven claims that his 2020 election loss to President Biden was due to massive voter fraud. 

Two weeks ago, Pence endorsed Taylor Robson, who is also backed by Ducey.

Trump and Pence – who could potentially become rivals for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination – were both in Arizona on the same day a week and a half ago, headlining competing campaign events.

Arizona Republican Governor candidate Karrin Taylor Robson speaks in Tucson, Arizona, July 1, 2022.

Arizona Republican Governor candidate Karrin Taylor Robson speaks in Tucson, Arizona, July 1, 2022. (REUTERS/Rebecca Noble)

Lake will now face off in November with Democrat Katie Hobbs, who is currently the Secretary of State of Arizona. 

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Hobbs easily won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in the one-time red state that has become a top general election battleground between the two major parties.

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