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It's Official: Kari Lake Clinches AZ Primary

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

The GOP primary for Arizona governor was a statistical dead heat in the final days of the campaign before polls closed Tuesday night to settle another Republican Party proxy battle that pitted Karrin Taylor Robson — endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence and incumbent GOP Governor Doug Ducey — against Kari Lake — endorsed by former President Donald Trump. 


After days of ballot counting, enough votes were finally tabulated by Thursday evening for Kari Lake to be declared the victor. The TV journalist-turned America First candidate was leading Robson by nearly 20,000 votes out of more than 700,000 ballots counted at the time Decision Desk HQ had seen enough data to call the race. 

The final call, coming some 48 hours after polls closed in Arizona, was delayed by the slow tabulation of day-of ballots. After polls closed and the first votes were counted Tuesday night, there was still no winner while Robson took an early lead from Arizonans who voted before election day. 

By Wednesday, that advantage had evaporated as day-of votes and ballots from outside Maricopa county were tallied. Losing a roughly 10-point lead from Tuesday night, Robson trailed Lake by nearly 11,000 votes out of more than 630,000 counted on Wednesday. The race remained uncalled through Wednesday night and Thursday as final votes were tabulated — with each ballot drop showing Lake's margin increasing. By the time the race was called, Lake was leading in every Arizona county. 


Declaring her victory on Thursday night Lake acknowledged "the results took longer than they should have" but noted "Arizonans who have been forgotten by the establishment just delivered a political earthquake."

"This is more than an election," Lake added. "It is a beautiful movement by so many people across our beautiful state to finally put Arizona first. Our renewed Republican Party is now coming together to fight for a brighter and more prosperous future for every Arizonan," she said. "Starting tonight, we fight to defeat the radical, corrupt, incompetent Democrats and put our government back into the hands of the great people of Arizona!" Lake declared. 

Kari Lake, now officially the GOP candidate for Arizona governor, will take on current AZ Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in November's general election less than 99 days away. Before November, though, Lake's campaign — along with the Republican National Committee and Republican Party of Arizona — will be looking to get more answers about ballot issues that arose in one Arizona county on primary day.

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