Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs, who has vigorously defended abortion rights during her campaign, has defeated Republican Kari Lake, the Associated Press reports. Lake joins the overwhelming list of MAGA wipeouts during the midterm elections.
Hobbs has defeated one of the most outspoken defenders of former President Donald Trump. Serving as Arizona’s Secretary of State, Hobbs has repeatedly rejected GOP lies about the election. Lake’s defeat follows the loss of two other high-profile election deniers — Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters and Secretary of State nominee Mark Finchem.
Hobbs, who will succeed Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, is the first Democrat to be elected governor in Arizona since Janet Napolitano in 2006.
Last month, Hobbs’ campaign headquarters were burglarized amid a heated race for the Senate. “Secretary Hobbs and her staff have faced hundreds of death threats and threats of violence over the course of this campaign. Throughout this race, we have been clear that the safety of our staff and of the secretary is our No. 1 priority,” said Nicole DeMont, the campaign manager for Hobbs, in a statement. “For nearly two years Kari Lake and her allies have been spreading dangerous misinformation and inciting threats against anyone they see fit.”
Once a Republican stronghold, Arizona was key to Trump and his supporters to casting doubt on Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential victory. Pre-election polls leading to the 2022 midterms indicated that the race was tied, but Hobbs’ victory was still a surprise to Democrats who feared her understated approach during the campaign would turn voters away. Hobbs exceeded expectations in Maricopa and Pima counties, where the majority of Arizona voters reside and where she made sure to spend a significant amount of her time campaigning in rural areas that traditionally vote Republican.
After Hobbs was declared the winner in the Arizona governor’s race, Congresswoman Liz Cheney reposted a letter from Lake mocking Cheney’s television ad targeting Arizona election deniers.
“Your recent television ad urging Arizonians not to vote for me is doing just the opposite,” wrote Lake. “Your commercial should add another 10 points to our lead! I guess that’s why they call the Cheney anti-endorsement the gift that keeps on giving.”
Yet while Cheney’s gratitude towards Lake is feigned, the votes in this race are very much real.