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Kari Lake, Karrin Taylor Robson Arizona GOP Primary up close

The Republican gubernatorial primary in Arizona was too close to call on Wednesday as candidates backed by former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence took the top two spots.

Kari Lake, a former Trump-backed TV host, had a lead of less than 12,000 votes over Karrin Taylor Robson, a member of the state Board of Regents, counting about 81% of the expected votes.

Although the race had not yet been called, Lake was expected to increase her lead as more ballots were tallied.

Trump came out last September for Lake, who has backed many of the 45th president’s claims that voter fraud cost him the 2020 election, saying, “Few can match the fake news media like Kari.”

“She’s strong on crime, will protect our border, the Second Amendment, the military and vets, and fight to restore electoral integrity (both past and future!),” he said at the time.

Pence, who could pose a potential key challenge for Trump in the 2024 election, edged out his former boss and backed Robson last month, sparking a proxy campaign between the two former running mates in Grand Canyon State.

Scottsdale, Arizona
Arizona voters wait in line to cast their ballots for the Aug. 2, 2022 Scottsdale primary.
via REUTERS

“As Arizona Democrats pursue the ruthless Biden-Harris agenda, Karrin Taylor Robson is the only candidate for governor who will keep Arizona’s border and streets safe, empower parents, create great schools and promote conservative values ‘ Pence said.

Lake rolled over her head early Wednesday when she prematurely declared victory as she surged in the polls – despite less than 70% of the vote being counted – and raising doubts about the integrity of the election.

“I wanted to come here tonight, I wanted to say, ‘Wow, we already have the final results.’ But we know how our electoral systems work, and they don’t work well. And that’s one of the reasons I’m standing here,” Lake said in front of a crowd of supporters, according to the Arizona Republic.

Kari Lake
Kari Lake is endorsed by Donald Trump. She backed his claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen due to voter fraud.
AP
Donald Trump, Kari Lake
Trump hugs Lake during a Save America rally July 22, 2022 in Prescott Valley, Arizona.
USA Today Network/Sipa USA

Robson — who was also backed by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and acting Arizona governor Doug Ducey — encouraged her supporters not to lose faith, urging them to “stay calm.” Keep the faith and keep us in your prayers. Because at the end of the day, we’re going to win this thing.”

She also made a point to confirm the legitimacy of the vote.

“There are a lot of good people involved in this process, and it’s critical that they take the time they need to get it right,” Robson said. “Whether you vote for me or one of my opponents, every valid vote counts.”

Karrin Taylor Robson
Mike Pence called Karrin Taylor Robson “the only candidate for governor who will keep the Arizona border and roads safe.”
Getty Images
Karrin Taylor Robson
The winner of the Republican gubernatorial primary is up against Democrat Katie Hobbs.
Getty Images

The winner meets Democrat Katie Hobbs, who easily defeated challenger Marco Lopez with more than 73% of the vote.

Arizona Secretary of State Hobbs was already looking ahead to November.

“We CAN and WILL win in November but I can’t do it without you guys,” she said in a tweet.

Regardless of the gubernatorial result, Trump notched another significant victory in Arizona earlier in the night when Blake Masters – who was also backed by billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel – easily won the GOP Senate primary for the right to run against Democratic incumbent Mark Kelley .

Arizona election
The Republican primary was too close to call for Wednesday, although Lake prematurely declared she had won.
Getty Images

Rep. Mark Fincham, who pushed electoral reforms based on Trump’s allegations of fraud in the 2020 vote, won the Republican primary as secretary of state.

The race on the Democratic side between Adrian Fontes and Reginald Bolding was too close to announce.

And Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who testified before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, was clearly defeated in his bid for the state Senate.

Bowers told lawmakers how he dismissed Trump’s allegations of voter fraud in Arizona, which Biden won in 2020 – becoming only the third Democrat to win the state since the end of World War II.

With mail wires

https://nypost.com/2022/08/03/kari-lake-karrin-taylor-robson-arizona-gop-primary-very-close/ Kari Lake, Karrin Taylor Robson Arizona GOP Primary up close

JACLYN DIAZ

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