Kari Lake spoke to reporters at about noon Wednesday and declared herself the Republican nominee for governor, though the race had not been officially called. At the time, Lake held the lead in the race and ballots dropped off Tuesday were still being counted.
Lake, 52, said she would continue to talk about the 2020 election, which she believes was fraudulent, as she faces Democratic nominee Katie Hobbs, the current Secretary of State who has defended Joe Biden’s win in the Grand Canyon State. She offered a conflicting message when asked about the current cycle and whether there was fraud.
Last week, Lake said her campaign had evidence of “stealing” that would be reported to authorities. She reiterated that Wednesday, but Lake and her campaign attorney Tim LaSota pointed to non-criminal election issues like a shortage of ballots in Pinal County when speaking about the current cycle.
Lake said she believed the Republican party would rally behind her, but didn’t say specifically how she would appeal to her opponent Karrin Taylor Robson or other Republicans she has attacked so far. Lake said she believed they would support her because they align on conservative values. A spokesman for Taylor Robson did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Lake declaring victory.