On November 30, 2020, Arizona’s Republican governor, attorney general, and chief justice of the state Supreme Court certified the state’s electoral votes for President Joe Biden.
If Donald Trump has his way, that will not happen again for the Democratic candidate in 2024.
Kari Lake, a former news anchor who is now the Trump-endorsed candidate for Arizona governor in 2022, told One America News on Friday that she “would not have certified” the votes had she been governor at the time. She cited debunked lies about “serious irregularities” that were spread by the likes of Rudy Giuliani, whom she noted was in Arizona “at that very moment” of certification. (A New York court suspended Giuliani’s law license this year for making “demonstrably false and misleading statements” about the 2020 election.) Lake previously told the Arizona Republic that Trump was “the real winner of Arizona.” Her latest comments follow the much-hyped and highly dubious “audit” authorized by Arizona’s state senate recently that nonetheless confirmed Biden’s victory in the state.
Kari Lake, the Trump-endorsed candidate for Arizona Gov, says she would not have certified Arizona's 2020 election results if she was governor at the time. pic.twitter.com/D3MAULRYB0
— The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) October 2, 2021
Trump endorsed Lake on Tuesday after she said his head should be carved on Mt. Rushmore, saying she “will fight to restore Election Integrity (both past and future!).” Polls show she is now the frontrunner for the GOP nomination to replace outgoing GOP Gov. Doug Ducey, who Trump famously called during the certification ceremony and later attacked on Twitter for certifying the results. The Democratic nominee for governor is Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who oversaw the state’s election and has been a target of death threats from “Stop the Steal” conspiracy theorists.
Lake is the latest candidate backed by Trump who supported overturning the 2020 election, a dominant theme with Arizona Republicans. State Rep. Mark Finchem, a Trump-endorsed candidate for secretary of state in 2022, was at the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6. Trump has also supported GOP secretary of state candidates in swing states like Georgia and Michigan who’ve spread lies about the 2020 election and would be in a position to oversee the counting of votes in the next presidential election if they win their races.
According to Reuters, 10 of 15 declared Republican secretary of state candidates in five battleground states—Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada—“have either declared that the 2020 election was stolen or called for their state’s results to be invalidated or further investigated.”
Nearly a dozen states, including Arizona, have passed new laws this year to subvert and undermine how fair elections are run, a likely prelude to challenging the results of the next presidential election.