Kari Lake doubts electoral system and touts populist message in interview

Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake touted her plans to secure the border, expand business skills training for high schoolers and reform elections in a 30-minute television interview Sunday.

The interview, filmed Saturday at AZTV7’s Phoenix studios, was the culmination of weeks of back and forth over whether the two Arizona gubernatorial candidates, Lake and Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs , would meet on a debate stage.

Hobbs refused to do so, and Lake didn’t let voters forget – raising the issue within the first minute of his interview, saying Hobbs “wasn’t brave enough to run.”

Instead of a debate, Lake took questions from Mike Broomhead, a conservative commentator who hosts a show on Phoenix’s KTAR radio station. He started by asking about the election, saying that’s what most people ask about in questions submitted to the Arizona Citizens’ Own Elections Commission, which sponsors the two-year-old debate series. decades.

Lake said she would work with the Legislative Assembly to clean up voter rolls, citing concerns that voters received multiple ballots, and reiterated his distrust of ballot counting machines, or tabulators. When Broomhead asked if Lake would end early voting, Lake did not respond. She previously joined an unsuccessful lawsuit filed by the Arizona GOP to end the practice.

Lake, the former Fox 10 anchor who questioned the election and falsely claimed Trump won in 2020, said she wasn’t convinced this election would be fair.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake tags the press

“We see problem after problem,” she said, blaming those problems on her opponent, Hobbs, who is the state’s election chief and who confirmed last week that 6,000 voter records had to be reviewed to ensure that the correct ballot was cast. “I wish I could sit here and say I have complete faith in the system, I don’t have faith in the system. And that’s why I’m going to work with lawmakers to find a way to have secure elections.”

With that in mind, Broomhead asked how Lake or any Republican could have confidence in the outcome of the election, even if she won.

“We need to vote en masse and we need to send a very loud and clear message that we want fair elections, we want a secure border,” Lake said. “So you have to come out and vote, and I think we can vote against some of the issues if we show up.”

Tom Collins, the executive director of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, speaks to the press after Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake's 30-minute televised Q&A at AZTV7's studio on October 22, 2022.

It’s similar to the language Lake used after his August primary victory, when he was asked to reconcile his pre-election claims that there were “robberies going on.”

Broomhead did not ask Lake about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, which Lake has repeatedly said was corrupt, stolen and an outcome she would not have certified as governor. None of a series of lawsuits or the review of Maricopa County ballots by Arizona Senate Republicans has produced evidence to prove this claim.

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