Democrat Katie Hobbs will win Arizona’s governor’s race, CNN projects, defeating one of the most prominent defenders of former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election. 

Calling the 2020 election rigged, Republican Kari Lake had repeatedly said she would not have certified Joe Biden’s win in Arizona in 2020. Hobbs, as Arizona’s secretary of state, had rejected GOP lies about the election. 

Lake’s defeat follows the defeat of two other high-profile election deniers in the state – Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters and secretary of state nominee Mark Finchem. 

Before the projection, Lake had already begun sowing doubts about the 2022 results.

During an appearance on right-wing activist Charlie Kirk’s talk show Thursday, she said, “I hate that they’re slow-rolling and dragging their feet and delaying the inevitable. They don’t want to put out the truth, which is that we won.”   

There is no evidence that the election officials were delaying the reporting of results. At a news conference Thursday, Bill Gates, chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, called out Lake’s comments. “It is offensive for Kari Lake to say that these people behind me are slow-rolling this when they are working 14-18 hours,” Gates, a Republican, said, gesturing to the election workers who were involved in tallying the ballots behind him through a glass window.    

Lake, a former news anchor at Fox 10 in Phoenix, ascended quickly to become one of the most prominent Republicans in the 2022 cycle as she and Hobbs vied to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Doug Ducey. The outgoing governor had endorsed Lake’s primary opponent, but then backed Lake in the general election.   

Hobbs, a former social worker who worked with victims of domestic violence before becoming a state lawmaker, ran a far more low-key and understated campaign, limiting her access to reporters and holding small, intimate events with supporters. She made democracy and abortion rights her central focus, portraying Lake as an “extreme” and “dangerous” figure who could jeopardize the sanctity of the 2024 presidential election by refusing to certify the results.     

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