Cary Lake heads to Mar-a-Lago just over Arizona’s projected loss


Carilek, who is expected to lose the Arizona gubernatorial race on Monday, traveled to former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida on Thursday, according to two people familiar with the matter.

When she entered a luncheon hosted by the America First Policy Institute, she received a standing ovation, one of the people said. The people, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described private events.

The think tank will host “evenings and experiences” at Trump’s club on Thursday and Friday. An agenda said the purpose of the event was to “ensure the preparation and finalization of policy for the new session of Congress and state legislatures.”

Lake didn’t throw in the towel. The visit to Mar-a-Lago while the counting of votes continues in Arizona shows that she is already taking steps to maintain her image in the former president’s orbit. Her endorsement could also have important implications for Trump, who kicked off his 2024 presidential campaign this week amid criticism for his party’s poor performance in the midterms.

Lake, a former TV news anchor, modeled herself on Trump’s campaign to run for governor and echoed his false assertion that he was scammed for re-election in 2020. She spoke regularly with the former president, according to current and former campaign advisers. The former president visited her campaign’s “war room” on Sunday, expressing disbelief that Republicans are behind in the count and voicing support for her and other Republican candidates.

Lake is expected to lose on Monday to Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who is now secretary of state. On Tuesday, Lake responded to Trump’s announcement of his third White House bid, announcing on Twitter that he had her “full and complete support!” Lake has often been discussed as a potential vice presidential pick for Trump, despite She has insisted on the campaign trail that, if elected, she intends to serve one term as governor.

Now that she has lost her run for governor, her political path is less clear. On Thursday, she told her supporters on social media that “we’re still in this fight,” blaming Phoenix and Maricopa County, home to more than half the state’s voters, for Election Day printer failures.

In the early hours of Election Day, printers at 70 of the county’s 223 polling places printed ballots with ink too pale for the counting machines to read. This resulted in ballots being rejected by machines. Voters were told to either wait in line, go to another polling place, or deposit their ballots in secure boxes, which were moved to downtown Phoenix and counted there. County officials dispatched technicians to fix the faulty printer’s settings. While technicians are not at other polling places, they are also proactively changing printer settings, a county spokesperson said. County officials plan to investigate the root cause of the printer problems in the coming weeks.

Lake and her allies have dubbed the issues “voter suppression,” a theme that could be at the heart of the GOP’s statewide legal effort. But county officials have repeatedly said no one has been disenfranchised and noted various instances of Republicans spreading misinformation about the use of safety boxes on Election Day, even though the boxes have been in use for years.

Her campaign also released a series of video testimonials from voters who said they were denied the opportunity to vote. It included a link to a fundraising page for Lake’s campaign.

Given these concerns, a judge rejected Republicans’ request to extend voting hours on Election Day, arguing that no one was prevented from voting. Lake’s campaign is weighing its legal options in coordination with Republican attorney general nominee Abraham Hamadeh, who is trailing his Democratic rival but whose bid has not yet been announced, according to people familiar with the matter. .

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