Katie Hobbs Tops Kari Lake for Arizona Governor’s race
Kara Lake won the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor — but did she win the people of Arizona?
The Arizona Democratic Party said no on June 5, at a convention in Phoenix, for a candidate who isn’t even an official member of their party. Former Maricopa County Republican Chairman Gary Pierce told reporters he refused to commit to vote for the Democrat when asked to do so at a debate in Tucson last month.
Instead, Pierce told the Arizona Daily Star he chose “Kara Lake” because she is “the best candidate.”
And while Lake never officially joined the Arizona Democratic Party, she has a legion of well-known supporters from high-profile Democrats including Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, former U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, former Sen. Russ Feingold and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
The candidate’s popularity and familiarity in a state that has been dominated by Republicans since the 1980s has given her, and Republicans, an advantage. Lake won a decisive victory over former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in the fall of 2010. Kirkpatrick had a small but loyal group of supporters in the GOP who worked to keep her off the general election ballot by raising issues about her past ethics violations and whether she would support abortion.
A national debate
The Republican Party also saw the Kirkpatrick scandal as a major issue in the campaign. For her part, Lake says she has a plan to tackle the issue, including creating a commission to overhaul ethics laws and setting up a public education program on the topic.
She is also working in Arizona on a program to help seniors navigate the Medicare system.
Lake had been mentioned as a possible nominee in the Republican Party’s primary for governor, but her name was not on the ballot this year because Arizona was a winner-take-all election.
Lying to the public?
As the Democratic Party’s nominee, Lake will take on Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, a tea party favorite who had an unsuccessful run for office in 2010.
Lake, whose only opponent in the Democratic Party primary was former Rep. Judy Burges, said voters in Arizona shouldn’t have to be lied to about the cost of living or the value of their house. In the last several campaigns,