It’d be bad for the brand if she didn’t make a fuss.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has refused to concede to her Democratic opponent Katie Hobbs in the race to become Arizona’s new governor. Instead, she’s signaled a potential legal challenge, but hasn’t followed through yet.
The former news anchor, once considered the future of the Republican party, was projected to lose the race by less than a percentage point. Soon after the Associated Press called the race, Lake tweeted (and later deleted) “Arizonans know BS when they see it.”
Lake was one of the most visible election deniers during the midterm season. Anyone watching closely expected her to make a stink about amorphous election fraud if she didn’t win her race. Well, she did. Back in October, she refused to clarify whether she’d accept the results if she lost.
“I’m going to win the election, and I will accept that result,” she told CNN’s Dana Bash.
She’s since followed up on that promise, citing technical difficulties with voting machines as the culprit in her next phase of the Big Lie. On Election Day, 70 out of 223 voting centers in Maricopa County experienced issues with their printers, which weren’t producing dark enough marks on ballots, making it difficult for vote tabulators to process them. Poll workers gave voters the option to submit their ballots in a drop box to be counted later or just vote at another polling place. The printers were fixed within hours.
“Everyone is still getting to vote,” Maricopa County Board of Supervisors chairman Bill Gates said in a new conference that Tuesday. “Nobody is being disenfranchised.”
But that brief malfunction was enough for Lake to seize upon to bolster a claim that the election was rigged against her. On Thursday, she posted a video on Twitter pointing to the issue as evidence.
“For two years, I’ve been sounding the alarm about our broken election system here in Arizona, and this past week has confirmed everything we’ve been saying,” she said.
She said that voters had been “disenfranchised” by the errors, and that she was “right” to call for the state to get rid of their electronic voting machines. Continuing to take advantage of the situation to boost her MAGA standing, she also announced that she’s looking into legal options.
“Rest assured, I have assembled the best and brightest legal team, and we are exploring every avenue to correct the many wrongs that have been done this past week,” she said, once again conflating the brief malfunction with her loss in the race.
She’s since traveled to Mar-a-Lago to meet former president Donald Trump, who saw her as one of his favorite endorsements this election cycle. According to people familiar with the event, she got a standing ovation when she entered an on-site event hosted by the Trump-affiliated think tank America First Policy Institute.
“I can promise you one thing,” she said in her video on Thursday. “This fight to save our republic has just begun.