(The Epoch Times)—Former Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake officially launched her campaign for the U.S. Senate on Oct. 10 and was swiftly endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Ms. Lake—who has for months been weighing up plans to run for the seat currently held by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.)—announced the 2024 Senate campaign to a crowd of supporters in Scottsdale.
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Ms. Sinema, who left the Democratic Party to become an independent in December, has yet to announce whether or not she will seek a second term.
Before taking to the stage Monday to announce her intentions to run, a video message was played on a large digital screen to the crowd of Ms. Lake’s supporters showing the former television news host taking aim at everything from “fake news” to the “left agenda.”
Ms. Lake, 54, then entered the stage to a round of applause before delivering a nearly 50-minute-long speech in which she touched upon numerous topics including President Joe Biden, soaring gas prices, the ongoing border crisis, and the recent attack of Israel by a Palestinian group and U.S.-designated terrorist organization, Hamas.
“Joe Biden has us on a fast track to total destruction and I don’t know about you but I’m really to put him on an Amtrak back to Delaware. “The whole world’s tired of Joe,” Ms. Lake told the crowd.
“Our border is wide open here in Arizona, we know it because we’re feeling it here in Arizona, There is an absolute invasion in our country with millions of people pouring in, tonnes of deadly drugs pouring into this country, and now we’re seeing what that can mean, we’re seeing the horror playing out, and what’s transpired in Israel over the past few days—absolutely barbaric attacks on innocence,” Ms. Lake continued.
‘Not Going to Retreat’
Ms. Lake also sought to blame President Biden and former President Barack Obama’s “outrageous deals” for “enabling Hamas,” before telling the crowd, “I know we’re all praying for Israel.”
Concluding her address to the crowd, Ms. Lake vowed to put America first if she were to win the Arizona senate seat.
“I am not going to retreat. I’m going to stand on top of this hill with every single one of you, and I know you’re by my side as I formally announce my candidacy for the United States Senate,” she declared.
Later, Ms. Lake reflected on the days under the Trump administration, telling the crowd she “misses” the former President, with whom she has remained a close ally.
After delivering her lengthy speech to the crowd, Ms. Lake, a former Fox 10 news anchor, shared a pre-taped video of President Trump, who said she had his endorsement.
Trump Issues Glowing Endorsement
“When I’m back in the White House, I need strong fighters like Kari in the Senate,” President Trump said. “She is a fighter, she’s strong and she’s got a great heart by the way… She is one of the toughest fighters in our movement and I am proud to give her my complete and total endorsement,” he said.
Ms. Lake’s announcement comes less than a year after she lost in the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial race against Gov. Katie Hobbs, a Democrat.
While the Republican has maintained her belief that election fraud played a role in her defeat and has not conceded the race, she spent little time discussing the topic during Monday’s speech, simply telling the audience, “We did everything right, and we saw the disaster of election day in Arizona.”
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“Sometimes when things don’t go the way we expect, we find ourselves questioning and asking why … I think God has bigger plans for us,” Ms. Lake told the crowd.
Ms. Lake joins the race for U.S. Senator from Arizona alongside Republican Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), who announced his candidacy in January. Ms. Sinema has yet to announce a run.
A poll by National Research Inc., conducted Oct. 7-9, places Ms. Lake in the lead in a hypothetical three-way race against Mr. Gallego and Ms. Sinema, with 37 percent of voter support compared to 33 percent for Mr. Gallego and 19 percent for Ms. Sinema.
Arizona, one of the most politically important U.S. states, is one of eight competitive seats Democrats will be seeking to defend next year as they try to protect their narrow 51-49 Senate majority.
Reuters contributed to this report.