Rumors have been swirling that Kari Lake is seriously considering running for the U.S. Senate, challenging Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I), and during an interview with Turning Point USA President Charlie Kirk she finally confirmed the suspicion as accurate. However, she emphasized that she will fully litigate the results of the gubernatorial election first.
During the interview earlier this month, Lake responded when asked if she was going to run for the seat, “Yes, I am entertaining it. I mean my number one priority is our court case, and I have full confidence in our court case and I hope we will get a judge to do the right thing.”
Lake reiterated her focus on the election litigation. “But I’m also looking at what happens if we don’t get a decent ruling in that, and they want me to go away, they want our movement to go away,” she said. “I represent we the people, and if they want us gone so badly that they’re willing to steal an election then I’m not going to let them have that, I won’t go away.”
Lake met with officials at the National Republican Senatorial Committee at the beginning of February, where she discussed the differences between running a Senate and a gubernatorial campaign, her senior advisor Carolynn Wren told Politico.
Senator Sinema is considered extremely vulnerable after crossing party lines to vote with Republicans on a few key bills, followed by her exit from Democratic Party. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-03), who is to the left of her, has announced his intention to challenge her in the 2024 primary. Sinema has a 14.74 rating from the American Conservative Union for her votes in the Senate, while Gallego has a 4.41 rating for his congressional votes.
Lake told Kirk during the interview, “I’ve seen some internal polling that shows I’m the only Republican who can beat these other two.” Sinema has not said whether she will be running for reelection.
The Arizona Sun Times reported on a Public Policy Polling (PPP) poll in December which found in a hypothetical matchup of the three, Lake would come in first with 41 percent, followed by Gallego with 40 percent and Sinema trailing far behind with 13 percent. A poll in January by Blueprint Polling showed Lake with 36 percent, Gallego at 32 percent, and Sinema a distant third with 14 percent.
Lake refers to Gallego as “the AOC of Arizona, which may actually be an insult to AOC.”
Lake went to Iowa and Mar-a-Lago earlier this month, prompting some to speculate she was in the running to be Donald Trump’s vice-presidential running mate.
But not everyone is thrilled to see Lake considering a run. Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, who attacked Trump supporters who believe there was fraud in the 2020 election and denounced Trump’s “stranglehold on the GOP,” told The Washington Post, “The party needs to get serious about its future. If it thinks it is going to be competitive, it cannot entertain stupidity and denialism. If it doesn’t want to be competitive, wallow in the mud with Kari Lake.”
Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb said a couple of weeks ago that he, too, is “seriously” considering running for the seat. Other possible names that have come up include Blake Masters, who lost a challenge to Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly last year, Jim Lamon, who lost to Masters in the Republican primary, and Karrin Taylor-Robson, a moderate Republican who lost to Lake in the gubernatorial primary.
The Arizona Court of Appeals dismissed Lake’s election appeal, which she is now appealing to the Arizona Supreme Court.
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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Kari Lake” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “United States Capitol” by David Maiolo. CC BY-SA 3.0.