Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake met with National Republican Senatorial Committee officials on Thursday, a spokeswoman for her confirmed.
Caroline Wren, a senior adviser to Lake, confirmed to Politico that she met with Senate Republicans. The meeting lasted an hour, she said, adding that the topics of discussion included how to run a Senate campaign and how it differs from a gubernatorial campaign.
Wren was asked whether Lake has made a decision on a Senate bid, and she told the outlet: “I don’t think so. I think it was more listening.” The Epoch Times has contacted Lake’s team for comment.
Lake also spoke to Politico in the Senate building last week, saying she met with Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and others. The GOP candidate who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump said she was in Washington for the National Prayer Breakfast event.
Meanwhile, Lake conducted an interview with the New York Times late last week, offering criticism to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), a former Democrat-turned-independent who is up for reelection in 2024.
“She’s the furthest thing from an independent,” Lake told the NY Times about Sinema. “Someone somewhere said she did a couple of courageous things, well, she should do courageous stuff here every day. If you are blessed to be elected by the people, when you show up in Washington, D.C., you should be doing courageous acts [every single day].” Sinema has not issued a public comment on Lake’s remarks.
Despite the speculation that she may run for Senate, Lake has not publicly said whether she would or not. Lake told news outlets, in response to speculation of a Senate run, that she’s instead “hyper-focused on winning her court case” after filing an election-related lawsuit challenging the 2022 midterm results.
And Lake also recently started targeting Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), who recently announced he would challenge Sinema for her Senate seat, on Twitter and has described him as the “AOC of Arizona,” referring to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Gallego responded: “We call Kari Lake the Kari Lake of Arizona and yes that is an insult.”
After Sinema’s decision to become an independent, Gallego also started ramping up his attacks on her. Sinema drew left-wing criticism over the past two years for blocking a number of Democratic initiatives, including ending the 60-vote filibuster rule in the Senate.
“I’m better for this job than Kyrsten Sinema because I haven’t forgotten where I came from,” Gallego told The Associated Press. “I think she clearly has forgotten where she came from. Instead of meeting with the people that need help, she meets with the people that are already powerful.”
But at least one top Republican has signaled that Lake wouldn’t perform well as a Senate candidate.
“Any candidate in ’24 that has, as their principal campaign theme, a stolen election, is probably going to have the same issues that some of the ’22 candidates had,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the Senate GOP’s No. 2. “I just don’t think that’s where the American public is. It’s a swing state—we need to have a good Republican nominee, obviously. You know, whoever gets in, I hope they focus on the future, not the past.”
Wren later told Politico that Thune is “everything wrong with the Republican establishment” and that Washington power-brokers are “signaling that they’re willing to hand an Arizona Senate seat to the radical left.”
In December, a Maricopa County judge tossed Lake’s lawsuit during a two-day trial in which her lawyers argued that a range of issues in Maricopa on Election Day caused enough problems for voters that the midterm election should be re-done or Lake should be declared the winner. She has since appealed to the Arizona Court of Appeals, while the state Supreme Court has twice rejected a petition to transfer her case.
Her challenge cites statements made by Maricopa County officials on Nov. 8 that dozens of vote tabulation machines suffered printer errors that Lake and GOP officials say caused widespread delays and chaos. Maricopa County has maintained that no Election Day voters were disenfranchised by the errors, which they said were corrected that same day.
Lawyers for Hobbs in late January filed a response that seeks to dismiss Lake’s challenge, asserting that the GOP challenger failed to provide enough evidence.
From The Epoch Times