Donald Trump is expected to suffer a further blow after another candidate he backed in the U.S. midterm elections lost in Arizona.
Republican Kari Lake was beaten in the race for governor of the southwestern state by Katie Hobbs — the first time a Democrat has been elected to lead the state since 2006.
Cary Lake was one of the most high-profile Republican candidates on Tuesday’s ballot and repeatedly repeated claims that Trump falsely promoted voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election during the campaign.
The former president has been blamed for the Republicans’ poor performance in the midterm elections, including failing to control the U.S. Senate.
The party is still on track to win the House of Representatives back from Democrats, but by a much smaller margin than expected.
Hobbs, Arizona’s secretary of state, rose to prominence as a staunch defender of the legitimacy of the 2020 election, warning her Republican opponents would be agents of chaos.
“It’s not just about the election — it’s about moving this state forward and facing the challenges of our generation,” Hobbs said in a statement announcing his victory.
“Arizonas know BS when they see it,” Lake later tweeted, hinting at violations in her own state. During the campaign, the former TV presenter refused to say she would accept her contest results.
Counting has been going on for days since Tuesday’s election, as officials continue to count a flood of late ballots.
When Republican candidates accused the state’s most populous county of “slowly” counting votes to skew early election results, a local official hit back.
“Frankly, it’s distasteful for Carrillic to say that these guys behind me are working 14 to 18 hours a day and they’re slowly working on this,” said Bill Gates, Republican chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. .
Arizona, once a Republican stronghold where Democrats have won in the Trump era, has been at the center of Trump and his allies questioning Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election over baseless fraud allegations.
Trump himself will make his teased big announcement later on Tuesday — widely expected to be the official launch of the 2024 presidential campaign.
But Republican politicians and voters appear to be divided — some now support Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Just one other US president has been elected to two non-consecutive terms — Grover Cleveland in 1884 and 1892.