Arizona

Kari Lake travels to Mar-a-Lago fresh off projected loss in Arizona

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Kari Lake, who is expected to lose her race as Arizona governor on Monday, traveled to former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida on Thursday, according to two people familiar with the activity.

One of the people said she received a standing ovation while attending a luncheon hosted by America First Policy Institute, a think tank founded last year by Trump allies and former members of his administration. The individuals spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private events.

The think tank is hosting a “gala and experience” at Trump’s club on Thursday and Friday. A verbatim quote states that the agenda is to “ensure that policies for new sessions of Congress and the House of Representatives are prepared and finalized.”

Lake didn’t give up. The visit to Mar-a-Lago as the Arizona vote continues shows that she is already taking steps to raise her profile around the former president. Their support could also prove momentous for Trump, who launched his 2024 presidential campaign this week amid criticism for his role in the party’s stunning performance in the midterm elections. Lake was traded as a possible vice presidential nominee for Trump’s ticket.

Lake, a former TV news anchor, took cues from Trump’s campaigns when running for governor, repeating his false claims that he was cheated out of reelection in 2020. According to current and former campaign advisers, she speaks regularly with the former president. The former president called her campaign’s “war room” on Sunday to express her disbelief that Republicans are lagging behind on the vote count and to express her support for her and other GOP candidates.

Lake was expected to lose the race to Democrat Katie Hobbs, the current secretary of state, on Monday. On Tuesday, Lake responded to Trump’s announcement of a third White House bid by tweeting that he had her “complete and unreserved support”! Lake has been widely discussed as a possible vice presidential pick for Trump, though she claimed during the campaign that she intended to serve a full term as governor if elected.

Now that she has failed to hold state office, her political path is less clear. On Thursday, she told her followers on social media that “we’re still in this fight,” and denounced Maricopa County, home of Phoenix and more than half of the state’s voters, for election-day problems linked to faulty printers had to do.

In the early hours of election day, printers at 70 of the district’s 223 polling stations produced ballots in ink too light to be read by ballot machines. This resulted in ballots being rejected by the machines. Voters were told to either wait in line, travel to another polling location, or deposit their ballots in secure boxes that were taken to downtown Phoenix and counted there. County officials dispatched technicians to fix settings on the printers that were experiencing the problems. While technicians were out at other polling stations, they were also proactively changing settings on printers, a county spokesman said. County officials plan to investigate the root cause of the printer problems in the coming weeks.

Lake and her allies have referred to the issues as “voter suppression,” an issue that could be central to the GOP’s legal efforts at statewide races. But county officials have repeatedly said that no one has been denied the right to vote and have identified several instances of Republicans spreading misinformation about the use of the security boxes on Election Day, despite the fact that such boxes have been in use for years.

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

A judge denied a Republican request to extend polling hours on Election Day in the face of the problems, noting that no one was prevented from voting. Lake’s campaign is weighing its legal options in coordination with Abraham Hamadeh, the Republican nominee for attorney general, who is lagging behind his Democratic opponent but whose race has not yet been called, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

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