Kari Lake lost handily in the race to become Arizona’s next governor in 2022, but that hasn’t stopped the delusional former television news anchor from desperately hanging onto political relevancy.
Though popular in ultra-MAGA circles, some members of the Republican Party are worried about her extreme brand of partisan politics — and afraid that her unwavering allegiance to former President Trump will be a bridge too far for more moderate GOP voters.
“After three disappointing elections in a row, conservatives are hungry for candidates who can win,” Republican strategist John Ashbrook said.
A close associate of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Ashbrook is aware of the importance of bringing the party back from the brink of total and utter destruction by the extreme right.
Arizona is Blue-ish, with Democrats and Republicans being partisanly split, so the Independent vote has become the clincher for candidates of either of the country’s main parties hoping to win statewide.
The race is expected to be a full house, with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents equally represented, if, that is, Lake enters the race and if Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) runs as the Independent she has become since leaving the Democratic party in December 2022.
Sen. Sinema is currently being primaried by Democratic candidate Ruben Gallego.
Though Lake has yet to announce her run, it would require her to officially concede she lost the November 2022 election.
This may not sit well with the far-right political hopeful, considering she’s still challenging the results.
During an unhinged and disturbing speech at March’s edition of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) — a once-annual showing of the best, brightest, and upcoming members of the Republican Party — Lake continued to push baseless claims of election fraud in both her 2022 loss and ex-President Trump’s in 2020.
This has caused big-money billionaires like the Koch family to look for more suitable alternatives going forward.
According to the Arizona director of the Charles Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity group, Stephen Shadegg, the organization is ready to move on.
“We’re looking for a candidate who can win a general election and will take Arizona in a new direction offering solutions that reflect our shared vision,” Shadegg said. “Limited government, individual freedom and focus on the future – not the past.”
Unfortunately, that ship may have sailed.
Lake may be bonafide and certifiable, but she is also popular among Trump supporters who still make up a significant chunk of the GOP base.
Lake was the number one choice ultra-MAGA voters want to see as the 2024 GOP Vice Presidential candidate at a straw poll taken at CPAC.
Original reporting by Eliza Collins at The Wall Street Journal.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick