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Pro-Trump election denier Kari Lake loses the Arizona governor race to Democrat Katie Hobbs

The Arizona secretary of state has beaten the Trump-endorsed former Fox News host in the state’s gubernatorial election.

Kari Lake, Republican gubernatorial candidate for Arizona, speaks during an Arizona Republican Party election night rally in Scottsdale, Arizona, US, on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. After months of talk about reproductive rights, threats to democracy, climate change, immigration and crime, the US midterm elections are coming down to the way Americans feel about the overall state of the economy and, in particular, inflation. Photographer: Jon Cherry/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nearly one week after Election Day in the 2022 midterms, Arizona’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs defeated her Trump-endorsed opponent, Kari Lake, in a tight race.

Hobbs will become the next governor of Arizona, staving off a challenge from the former news anchor-turned-election denier. Late on Monday night the race was called for Hobbs, who held a 0.8 percentage point advantage with 98% of the vote counted.

Before the election the two candidates had been tied in the polls but offered vastly differing pitches to the electorate. Hobbs served as Arizona’s secretary of state during the 2020 presidential elections and was a staunch defender of the legitimacy of the race.

Lake on the other hand, has pushed former President Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen and has continued to spout baseless conspiracy theories. In the build up to the 2022 midterms, Lake refused to say whether she would accept the result if defeated.

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Will Kari Lake concede to Katie Hobbs?

Lake, like many other prominent candidates who received Trump’s endorsement, underperformed in the midterms. Analysts have begun to cite proximity to Trump as a negative factor for GOP candidates, one that contributed to the Democrats managing to retain control of the Senate.

Across the country election deniers did worse than many had predicted. But while there was a backlash against Trump-endorsed candidates, there appears little sign that the candidates themselves will turn against his claims.

Shortly after the gubernatorial race was called for Hobbs, Lakes sent a tweet saying: “Arizonans know BS when they see it.”

Lake will likely continue to contest the results of the gubernatorial race, particularly given Hobbs’ narrow winning margin. However advocates for voting rights will be relieved to know that Lake has not won the role overseeing elections in the state.

Had she been victorious she was expected to overturn key pillars of the voting process, such as the ability to vote by mail. She has previously stated that she wanted winners to be declared on election night, which is rarely ever the case in large states like Arizona.

After she was declared the winner, new Arizona governor Katie Hobbs tweeted: “Democracy is worth the wait. Thank you, Arizona. I am so honored and so proud to be your next Governor.”

She will enter office in January 2023.


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