(Bloomberg) — Katie Hobbs’s defeat of Kari Lake in the Arizona governor’s race represents the most stinging and high profile defeat of an election denier in the midterms.
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During the campaign, Lake repeatedly and relentlessly cast doubt on Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in the state, saying she would not have certified it as governor. As secretary of state, Hobbs oversaw that vote and insisted it was fair.
Arizona was a hotbed of election denial this year and of special significance to former President Donald Trump and his baseless claim of widespread fraud in 2020. This is where Fox News back then called Arizona for Biden, a decision that left Trump fuming.
Two other determined election deniers have also lost gubernatorial races: Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania and Tudor Dixon in Michigan. Their losses, along with those of dozens of others who questioned the results of the 2020 election, marked a clear repudiation by voters of Trump’s “stop the steal” effort.
In addition to Lake, the Republican candidate for senator, Blake Masters, and Mark Finchem, who ran for secretary of state, were also defeated.
While some election deniers tempered their positions after winning primaries, Lake never backed down. She refused to say that she would acknowledge a loss, instead insisting to a CNN reporter that she was going to win and she would “accept that result.”
Days before winning the August primary, Lake also claimed without evidence that her campaign was “already detecting some fraud.”
Lake also joined Finchem in an unsuccessful lawsuit that sought to bar the use of electronic ballot counters in the midterms, which are faster, more accurate and cheaper than hand counting. Federal Judge John J. Tuchi threw out the lawsuit, saying that it was “vague” and “speculative” and came too close to the election.
Lake also repeatedly cast doubt on mail-in ballots in a state where nearly 90% of voters cast their ballots early in 2020, calling for “one day voting.”
A spokeswoman for Lake did not immediately respond to an inquiry on Monday night asking if she would concede.
–With assistance from Jack Gillum.
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