AZ’s ‘potent’ Kari Lake has Dems fretting potential MAGA superstar could damper 2024 hopes


Taking the culture war directly to the progressive conglomerate of leftist politicians, woke corporations and corporate media, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) branded himself a target of Democrats while conservatives across the nation wished that there were 49 other state executives like him.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake seems poised to fulfill that want for Arizonans, leaving many Democrats concerned about how her “potent and dangerous combination” of politics and presentation could damage their hopes for 2024.

Lake’s propensity to take on challenges directly has allowed her to stay ahead of her opposition, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D), and former President Barack Obama’s adviser David Axelrod told Axios that the Republican’s extensive career as a news anchor and her stance on key issues are the biggest factors in making her a threat.

“If you get a candidate who has the performance skills of a major-market local TV anchor and the philosophy and thinking of Steve Bannon, that’s a potent and dangerous combination,” Axelrod told the outlet before suggesting Lake was akin to recently elected Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, a conservative populist candidate that progressives have maligned as a fascist.

“Look at Italy,” he said.

Meanwhile, as the Trump-endorsed Lake has encouraged citizens to get involved with the election process by volunteering to be poll watchers ahead of her promise to pass legislation to shore up election integrity, Axios wrote she is “the most politically potent of the ‘stop the steal’ candidates. She is every bit as hardcore an election denier as Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, but infinitely more suited to the age of social media videos and quick TV hits.”

In fact, Hobbs has used that in defense of her refusal to debate Lake ahead of the election and told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell during an interview, “How do you debate someone who refuses to accept the truth, who doesn’t live in facts, and it doesn’t do any service to the voters in terms of deciding, looking at the contrast between us and how we’re going to govern if all she’s going to do is shout over me, interrupt me, and spew lies?”

Surprisingly, NBC pointed out that Hobbs had also refused to debate during the Democratic primary. As it happened, these refusals to debate have only bolstered Lake who has continued to promote favorable conditions for her opponent including stating, “I will debate you on ‘The View’ and let Joy Behar and Whoppi [Goldberg] ask the questions. But show some courage.”

Then-candidate Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign chair for Arizona Sandra Kennedy, a member of state Corporation Commission spoke up on concerns over Hobbs’ decision, “You wonder as a candidate if you’re doing everything you should be doing. You don’t want to wait till the day after the election and think, ‘Would I have done it another way?’”

“I can’t say to you that she should have done or shouldn’t have done certain things. She’s the candidate. But if I were the candidate for governor, I would debate,” Kennedy continued, “and I would want the people of Arizona to know what my platform is. And I would lay it out–lay it out in a way so they will know the difference between my and Kari Lake.”

“I’d love nothing more [than] to have a substantive conversation about the issues, how we differ and how we would govern,” Hobbs has said as other Democrats criticize her for not debating. “That cannot happen on a stage with Kari Lake, who has shown she’s more interested in making a spectacle than anything else.”

As NBC reported, “The stakes of the race are huge. Arizona presents perhaps the greatest chance for an election-denying candidate tied closely to former President Donald Trump to win a swing-state governor’s race this fall, with the winner having a direct role in the state’s certification of the 2024 presidential vote.”

Las Vegas News Magazine

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