Former president Donald Trump’s preferred candidate in Arizona won the Republican gubernatorial primary, meaning that all of Mr Trump’s preferred candidates in the state won their contests.
Former news anchor Kari Lake beat Karrin Taylor Robson, whom former vice president Mike Pence and current Republican Governor Doug Ducey had endorsed.
Ms Lake has been one of the most prominent parroters of Mr Trump’s lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. Despite her victory, Ms Lake still claimed there was voter fraud in her race.
“We out-voted the fraud, we didn’t listen to what the fake news had to say,” she said on Wednesday when she had a slight lead but her victory was not clear, The Arizona Daily Mirror reported.
Specifically, Ms Lake and the Republican National Committee both complained about difficulties with voting in Pinal County, specifically, when many polling centers ran out of ballots. That led to the RNC and the Republican Party of Arizona to call for the elections director David Fisk to resign, which he eventually did.
Ms Lake will now face Arizona’s Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who was instrumental in orchestrating Arizona’s elections that Mr Trump disputed in 2020.
Ms Lake’s victory also signals Mr Trump’s complete takeover of the top of the ballot in Arizona. His preferred Senate candidate Blake Masters won the GOP primary to challenge Democratic Senator Mark Kelly. Meanwhile, his preferred candidate for Secretary of State Mark Finchem, who would oversee elections, won his primary, and Abraham Hamadeh won the primary for attorney general.
Elsewhere on the ballot Rusty Bowers, Arizona’s speaker of the house who testified before the House select committee investigating January 6, lost his primary challenge for a state senate seat.