Less than 20 Kari Lake supporters turn out for statehouse protest against her Arizona governor election loss

Kari Lake has refused to concede after race was called to Democrat Katie Hobbs on Monday night

Johanna Chisholm
Wednesday 16 November 2022 13:27 GMT
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A small but vocal group of election deniers rallied outside the state capitol in Arizona to protest Kari Lake’s loss in the gubernatorial race against Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs.

The governor’s race was called on Monday night, with Ms Hobbs taking leading the contest by about 20,000 votes and a 50.4 per cent majority to Ms Lake’s 49.6 per cent.

Approximately 15 people gathered at the Arizona state capitol on Tuesday, with some waving flags emblazoned with pro-Trump messages and “SOS”.

One man, who identified himself as Larry G in an interview with Raw Story, blew a shofar horn between the group’s rants about alleged election fraud.

Another protester identified as Dan S told the outlet: “Our legislative body has completely turned against We the People.

“And We the People are done waiting for justice. We have a corrupt government, and it’s time is ticking away, soon to be gone.”

On Monday night, Ms Hobbs addressed supporters during her victory speech, acknowledging that voters in the state had chosen “solving our problems over conspiracy theories” and “sanity over chaos” in a not-so-subtle dig at her election denying opponent who steadfastly has amplified the Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen.

For her part, the Trump-endorsed Ms Lake has yet to offer any official concession in the race and has instead opted to lean into her well-worn path of denying the results of this gubernatorial contest by labelling the results “BS”.

“Arizonans know BS when they see it,” tweeted the former news anchor on Monday night, shortly after her Democratic challenger had been projected to win the race.

Ms Lake now finds herself splitting Republican leadership over whether she will mount a legal challenge to the results or concede to Ms Hobbs, the latter of which includes political figures like a former Republican governor of the state.

“Kari Lake has lost the race in my opinion. There’s no way for her to have a pathway,” former Republican governor Jan Brewer said in an interview Tuesday with The New York Times.

“If I was in that position, I probably would concede. Our democracy is so important to what our country and state stands for. We vote people in and we vote people out.”

Elsewhere, members of the GOP in Arizona began offering their congratulations to Ms Hobbs, the Democratic secretary of state.

That included a call made by the outgoing governor, Doug Ducey, who is term-limited and ineligible to seek a third consecutive term as governor, and Ms Brewer, who told The Times that she planned to call the governor-elect later Tuesday.

Much of Ms Lake’s legal challenge, if she mounts it, would rest on a printing problem in Maricopa County on Election Day that reportedly slowed the tabulation of ballots. Maricopa County officials, many of them Republicans, have pushed back against these allegations of the printing issue causing any harm, as they claim that no one was denied the opportunity to cast their ballot.

On social media on Tuesday, Ms Lake spent much of her timeline retweeting election deniers unsubstantiated claims, while also offering up her endorsement to one of her campaign’s most ardent supporters and the man who spawned the 2020 election fraud narrative: Mr Trump.

“President Trump announces his ‘24 Presidential run,” tweeted Ms Lake shortly after the one-term president launched his bid for the White House for a third time. “He has my complete and total endorsement!”

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