Governor hopeful Kari Lake has not spent money on TV ads since primary election

Republican candidate Kari Lake has spent any money on television advertisements unlike her...
Republican candidate Kari Lake has spent any money on television advertisements unlike her opponent, Democratic Katie Hobbs who has spent over $6 million on promotions.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 8:05 PM MST|Updated: Sep. 13, 2022 at 8:22 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Republican nominee for governor Kari Lake spent two decades on the television airwaves here in the Valley, but her TV time has been non-existent since winning the Republican nomination last month. In the six weeks following the Aug. 2 primary, Lake has spent no money on TV ads, her campaign confirmed on Tuesday. In contrast, the campaign for Lake’s opponent, Katie Hobbs, said they and the Democratic party have shelled out $6.5 million on TV, cable, and digital ads combined since the August primary.

Despite the difference in advertising dollars, polls show the race is neck and neck, with one survey released last week showing the contest a dead heat. “Nobody knows who Katie Hobbs is, she likely has no name (identity),” said Republican political consultant Dan Scarpinato.

Scarpinato said Lake likely benefits from her job as a longtime local news anchor, which helps her keep pace in the race even though she’s not on the air with commercials. On the other hand, Scarpinato said Hobbs, who worked as a state lawmaker before she became Secretary of State, needs more exposure in the general election than Lake.

At this point, Lake has relied on outside groups like the Republican Governor’s Association for a presence on television. The national group, which Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey leads, has committed to spending millions of dollars on ads that attack Lake’s Democratic opponent, Katie Hobbs. So far, officials with the RGA said they have spent over $3 million on ads attacking Hobbs.

Longtime Arizona political consultant Paul Bentz said the attacks have a downside. While the ads tell voters why they shouldn’t vote for Hobbs, they don’t expand Lake’s appeal in a general election because they give people a positive reason to support her. “The issue is you can’t win a statewide office with one party alone, and you have to win independent and unaffiliated voters,” Bentz said.

Officials with Lake’s campaign say they plan to be on the air in a week or two. Lake’s campaign also said they had to spend more in the primary because, unlike Hobbs, they faced a well-financed challenger who spent over $18 million.