Kari Lake travels to Mar-a-Lago fresh off a scheduled loss in Arizona

Kari Lake travels to Mar-a-Lago fresh off a scheduled loss in Arizona


Kari Lake, who was projected on Monday to lose her race for Arizona governor, traveled to former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida on Thursday, according to two people familiar with the matter.

One of the people said she got a standing ovation when she walked into a luncheon at the club hosted by the America First Policy Institute, a think tank founded last year by Trump allies and former members of his administration. The people spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private events.

The think tank is holding a “Gala and Experience” at the Trump Club on Thursday and Friday. An agenda says the goal of the event “is to ensure the preparation and finalization of policy for the new sessions of Congress and the State House.”

Lake did not admit defeat. The visit to Mar-a-Lago, as vote counting continues in Arizona, signals that she is already taking steps to keep her profile in the former president’s orbit. Her endorsement could also prove consequential for Trump, who launched his 2024 presidential campaign this week under fire for his role in the party’s underwhelming performance in the midterm elections.

Lake, a former television news anchor, modeled her gubernatorial bid on Trump’s campaigns and repeated his false claims that he was rigged for re-election in 2020. She speaks regularly with the former president, according to current and former campaign advisers. The former president invited to her campaign “war room” on Sunday to express disbelief that Republicans are behind in the vote count and express support for her and other GOP candidates.

Lake is projected to lose the race to the Democrats on Monday Kate Hobbs, current Secretary of State. On Tuesday, Lake responded to Trump’s announcement of a third bid for the White House by tweeting that he had her “full and complete support!” Lake has often been discussed as a potential running mate for Trump, although she has said on the campaign trail that she intends to serve a full term as governor if elected.

Now that she has been defeated for state office, her political path is less clear. On Thursday, she told supporters on social media that “we’re still in this fight,” blasting Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and more than half of the state’s voters, for problems on election day which is included faulty printers.

In the early hours of Election Day, printers at 70 of the county’s 223 polling stations produced ballots with ink that was too light to be read by the counting machines. Because of this, the machines rejected the ballots. Voters were told to either wait in line, travel to another polling location or place their ballots in secure ballot boxes that were transported to downtown Phoenix and counted there. District officials sent technicians to fix the settings on the printers that were experiencing problems. While the technicians were out at other polling places, they were also proactively changing the settings on the printers, a county spokesman said. District officials plan to investigate the root cause of the printer problem in the coming weeks.

Lake and her allies have labeled the issues “voter suppression,” a topic that could become central to GOP legal efforts in statewide races. But county officials have repeatedly said no one has been disenfranchised and noted various instances of Republicans spreading misinformation about the use of safe boxes on election day, despite the fact that such boxes have been used for years.

Her campaign also released a series of video statements from voters who claim they were denied the chance to vote. They included a link to a fundraising page for Lake’s campaign.

A judge denied a Republican request to extend voting hours on Election Day in light of the problem, finding that no one was prevented from voting. Lake’s campaign is weighing its legal options in coordination with Abraham Hamadeh, the Republican attorney general candidate who is trailing his Democratic challenger but whose race has not yet been announced, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

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