As She Rakes In Republican Support, Kari Lake Is Still an Election Denier

UNITED STATES - MARCH 6: Kari Lake, Republican Senate candidate from Arizona, is seen in the U.S. Capitol after a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

With Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) no longer seeking re-election and Rep. Ruben Gallego becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee for the Senate race in Arizona, one name is on everybody’s lips: Republican candidate Kari Lake. Lake has reportedly tried — to no avail — to rehabilitate her image from a staunch far-right MAGA Trump sycophant. Despite attempting (and failing) to soften her stance on abortion to court more moderate Republicans, one core part of her far-right identity remains true: Kari Lake is still an election denier. 

Lake is still fighting an election contest disputing the results of her loss to Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) from the 2022 midterms.  The MAGA darling was an election denier before she ran for governor, during her run for governor, after her run for governor and continues to be an election denier to this day. As Olivia Taylor-Puckett, senior communications advisor for the Arizona Democratic Party, told Democracy Docket in an exclusive comment: 

Kari Lake’s power hungry quest to advance her own political ambitions isn’t fooling Arizonans who know exactly who she is: an election denying conspiracy theorist who will always put herself before Arizonans.

Before her campaign for governor, Lake was a far-right election conspiracy theorist and “Big Lie” promulgator. 

Prior to announcing her campaign for governor, Lake began to make waves as a bonafide election conspiracy theorist after she filed a lawsuit with fellow election denier Mark Finchem (R) — a state representative at the time — challenging the use of electronic voting machines in Arizona. The lawsuit argued that Arizona’s use of electronic voting machines made the state more susceptible to voter fraud and requested that electronic voting systems be deemed unconstitutional. 

Recently, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed her lawsuit for good. In the process, her and Finchem were also sanctioned by the district court for making “false, misleading, and unsupported factual assertions.”

Lake continued to push the “Big Lie” throughout her campaign for governor of the Grand Canyon State. 

In June 2022, Democracy Docket highlighted nine candidates who continued to promulgate the “Big Lie” almost two years after Trump lost the 2020 presidential election. Lake was at the top of our list as she continually repeated false claims about the 2020 election and even used these falsehoods in her lawsuit to ban electronic voting machines in Arizona. In September 2021, Lake bragged about her loyalty to the “Big Lie” movement, writing on Twitter, “I am the ONLY candidate for AZ Governor calling for and demanding decertification [of the 2020 Election]” and things only got worse from there. 

Throughout her campaign, Lake continued to tout the “Big Lie” and said that if she was governor in 2020, she would not have certified the results of the presidential election. 

And then, of course, Lake lost her gubernatorial bid. When it was all said and done, Hobbs handily defeated Lake by over 17,000 votes. But much to pro-democracy forces’ chagrin, Lake did not go gracefully into the night. 

After Lake’s loss at the ballot box came the inevitable election denial and the lawsuits.

On Dec. 9, 2022, Lake filed a lawsuit against Hobbs — the then-secretary of state — the Maricopa County recorder, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and the Maricopa County director of elections challenging the results of the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial race. Lake argued that she was “entitled to an order vacating Maricopa County’s canvass and Arizona’s certification of the results of the 2022 election.” She requested that the court order the 2022 election be rerun within Maricopa County or that she should be declared the winner. (This obviously did not happen.)

By Christmas Eve 2022, the district court dismissed Lake’s claims holding that “as far as evidence of misconduct is concerned, the Court finds nothing to substantiate Plaintiff’s claim of intentional misconduct.” Unfortunately, this was not the end of the road for Lake’s election contest. In fact, her lawsuit remains open today in the Arizona Court of Appeals, the state’s mid-level court. 

“I am the lawful governor of Arizona,” Lake wrote in her book released in June 2023.  At this point, Hobbs had held office for 176 days at this point. 

“The 2020 Election Results were garbage and EVERYBODY knows it. That’s why the corrupt swamp creatures are going after everyone who speaks the truth about our fraudulent elections,” she wrote in September of 2023. Between losing the governor’s race and now, she has remained steadfast in her anti-voting values. She oscillates between claiming that her 2022 election was rigged, her view that the 2020 presidential election was stolen and of course pushes rhetoric about voter fraud. 

It appears that yet another fringe anti-democracy candidate will get the full support of the Republican Party. 

News broke this week that Lake was once again on Capitol Hill courting high profile Republicans for their endorsements. While one might think it may be time for Republicans to stop their false election claims given that election deniers largely lost during the 2022 midterms, it appears that the party is falling in line behind Lake. Reporting by NBC revealed that Lake met with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell this week and Lake has claimed that “high profile endorsements” are coming. At a recent DC fundraiser hosted by Sen. Steve Daines with Sens. Thune, Barrasso, Cornyn and Blackburn, Lake reportedly raised $330,000. 

Losing elections based on lies that are harmful to the wellbeing of our democracy apparently does not phase the key party elites Lake needs to support her campaign. 

While Lake may rake in some notable endorsements and some in the media may fall for Lake’s half-hearted attempts to become a palatable Senate candidate, Democracy Docket will continue to cover Lake for what she is: an election denier and threat to our democracy.