Failed GOP Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has announced her intention to run for U.S. Senate, Bloomberg News reported. Lake, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, could change the party dynamics of the race.
On Tuesday, Lake officially filed her intention to run in 2024 with the Federal Election Commission. The seat is currently being held by former Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who is now an independent and may seek reelection as such but has yet to announce her intention.
The former news anchor will also have to contend with the Democratic candidate, making it a three-way race. This would split the vote, possibly giving Democrats the advantage at a time when they enjoy a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate.
Sinema could have trouble holding onto her seat as Arizona is leaning ever leftward. Sinema is seen as too right-wing, and leftists in the state are coalescing around Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Democrat who has already announced his candidacy.
Moreover, Lake's decision to throw in at this time could unnecessarily complicate things at a time when the GOP should be in good shape. Republicans have a fair shot at a strong showing in 2024, with none of their seats in danger at this time.
It's a different story for the Democrats, who have eight seats in play, with three of those in Ohio, West Virginia, and Montana, which were all winners for Trump by as many as eight or more points in the 2020 race. Although she is a favorite in the Republican Party, Lake comes with as much baggage as Trump in the general election.
Lake lost her gubernatorial bid to Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, who pulled out a close 50.3% to 49.6% victory. Several of Lake's legal challenges to the outcome were shot down in court, with her last lawsuit dismissed in May.
Regardless of the merits of her objections, the legal argument has been made and dismissed. Still, Lake has refused to concede to Hobbs and continues to rail against the outcome of the "stolen" election.
Similarly, Trump has his own ax to grind about the 2020 presidential election and has made that part of his campaign strategy. "It was a rigged election, and it was a stolen, disgusting election," the former president said in August, according to The Hill.
"And this country should be ashamed. And they go after the people that want to prove that it was rigged and stolen," Trump added.
Trump was making that claim in relation to yet another case brought against for his alleged efforts to overturn election results, this time in Georgia. It has become a drumbeat that some in his party believe needs to stop if he hopes to have a chance in 2024.
"The 2020 election in Georgia was not stolen," Georgia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp posted to social media to rebut Trump. "For nearly three years now, anyone with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward – under oath – and prove anything in a court of law," he added.
"Our elections in Georgia are secure, accessible, and fair and will continue to be as long as I am governor. The future of our country is at stake in 2024 and that must be our focus," Kemp said.
Republican voters will continue to have their doubts about the validity of the elections for Lake and Trump. However, there's little evidence that continuing to talk about it will have any positive impact when both need the support of the other party in their respective general elections.