Campaign says Kari Lake is at Mar-a-Lago, doubles down on election denial in Twitter video

As some of her Republican counterparts have conceded their races, Kari Lake hasn't, saying “the fight to save our republic has just begun."
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 8:58 AM MST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2022 at 3:10 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5/AP) — GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake released a new video on social media Thursday morning, saying, “the fight to save our republic has just begun,” three days after the Associated Press, CBS News and other outlets projected Katie Hobbs as the winner of the race. It was not a concession speech. Lake’s campaign later confirmed that she was at Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump’s golf club in Florida, hours after the video was posted on Twitter. She was endorsed by Trump. The Washington Post first reported that she attended a luncheon held by the America First Policy Institute, an advocacy group created by former Trump advisers.

In a 2 1/2-minute video, Lake made no mention of giving up in her most extensive public comments since losing the election. Before the election, she had refused to say that she would concede if she lost the race to Hobbs, a Democrat. “I am still in this fight with you,” the former TV news anchor says at the beginning of the video. Lake goes on to say that for two years, she’s been sounding the alarm about Arizona’s “broken election system,” and that the past week confirmed her claims. “The fox was guarding the henhouse and because of that, voters have been disenfranchised,” Lake said, referring to Hobbs for not recusing herself in her current role as Secretary of State.

Lake then went into Election Day problems regarding problems with tabulation machines and printers, saying she spoke with voters who spent hours in line. “Our election officials failed us miserably,” Lake said, claiming that tens of thousands of Maricopa County voters were disenfranchised on Election Day. Last week, Maricopa County election officials said that about 17,000 ballots were affected by a printing problem that kept machines from reading them but stressed that all votes would be counted. “What happened to Arizonans on Election Day is unforgivable,” she said.

County election officials said that all ballots were counted and that voters could go to any polling place in the county, many of which had little to no line, with wait times posted online. Election officials traced the problems to a printer setting that sometimes led to ballots printing too lightly for the on-site tabulators to read. They said they used the same settings in the August primary and for pre-election testing and there were no widespread issues.

“Now I am busy here collecting evidence and data,” Lake says in the video. “Rest assured, I have assembled the best and brightest legal team, and we are exploring every avenue to correct the many wrongs that have been done this past week.”

“And I can promise you one thing: this fight to save our republic has just begun,” Lake says at the end of the video.

Bill Gates, the Republican chair of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, has blamed state GOP chair Kelli Ward and other prominent Republicans for causing delays and long lines because they told their supporters not to use box three. “This team, we have accepted our responsibility in this,” Gates said Monday. “But I’m not willing to accept responsibility for issues that were caused by others. And it is clear to me that those lines were longer because leaders in one political party were spreading misinformation.”

Hobbs has held a narrow lead over Lake in the days since the election. After Hobbs was projected to win Monday night, Lake’s only statement was a post on Twitter saying, “Arizonans know BS when they see it.”

As of Thursday morning, just over 17,000 ballots remain uncounted across the state, with about 9,000 of those in Maricopa County. Tap/click here to see the latest numbers.

On Wednesday, the Maricopa Board of Supervisors held its first public meeting since the election. More than 30 people showed up to voice their concerns and frustrations with the ballot tabulation machines.

Follow our election coverage here. See Kari Lake’s video message below:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.