- The Washington Times - Friday, October 28, 2022

Republican Kari Lake responded to Rep. Liz Cheney’s efforts to derail her gubernatorial bid in Arizona with a “thank you.”

“Your recent television ad urging Arizonans not to vote for me is doing just the opposite,” Ms. Lake said on social media. “Our campaign donations are skyrocketing and our website nearly crashed as people rushed to learn more about my plan to put Arizona First and join our historic political movement.”

Ms. Lake said her advisers informed her that Ms. Cheney’s opposition should strengthen her lead over Democrat Katie Hobbs.

“I guess that’s why they call the Cheney anti-endorsement the gift that keeps on giving,” she said in the mock letter to Ms. Cheney, which is addressed to the “Defeated Member of Congress.”

The counterpunch came after Ms. Cheney’s recently formed The Great Task leadership PAC invested $500,000 into an “Honor” ad that urges voters to reject Ms. Lake, as part of the Wyoming Republican’s push to oust election deniers from elected office.

“I don’t know that I have ever voted for a Democrat, but if I lived in Arizona now I absolutely would,” Ms. Cheney says in the ad, which rehashes footage of her recent appearance at the McCain Institute at Arizona State University.

“You have a candidate for governor, Kari Lake, you have a candidate for secretary of state, Mark Finchem, both of who would say they would only honor the results of an election if they agree with it,” Ms. Cheney says. “And If you care about the survival of our republic we cannot give people power who will not honor elections.”

Ms. Lake‘s rise has been fueled in part by her full embrace of former President Donald Trump’s stolen election claims. 

Ms. Cheney has been the most high-profile critic of Mr. Trump’s attempts to cast doubt on the 2020 election. The stance infuriated Mr. Trump and his loyal supporters and eventually led to her defeat in the August GOP primary in Wyoming.

In a similar fashion to Mr. Trump, Ms. Lake, meanwhile, has consistently challenged conventional political wisdom, betting voters want “fighters” and are sick and tired of the status quo.

President Biden, meanwhile, won Arizona by over 10,000 votes. However, large swaths of the GOP in Arizona and outside the state have taken it as an article of faith that Mr. Trump was robbed by shady forces.

Ms. Lake is among a slew of Republicans running in races across the country that has tapped into that energy despite the lack of hard evidence showing the election was indeed ripped away from Mr. Trump.

The stance will be tested in the midterm elections, where voters also will be weighing in on their concerns over inflation and crime.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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