Far-right Republican Kari Lake is locked in a tight race for Arizona governor — but it looks like she won’t be able to count on the support of the state’s Republican attorney general anytime soon.
In an appearance at 60 minutes Last Sunday, Mark Brnovich called Ms Lake a rapist and suggested she was a “clown” for refusing to vote.
“I think there are a lot of clowns out there who saw what they wanted to see,” Mr. Brnovich said, referring to people who denied the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election result. “What is this, a Simon and Garfunkel series? “Does a man see what he wants to see and ignore the rest?”
Arizona, which incumbent Joe Biden narrowly won over former President Donald Trump, was one of the few states where Republicans made allegations of fraud. Ms Lake, a former TV news anchor, helped push for the results to be disputed and continued to baselessly claim the election was rigged.
“We’ve had fraudulent elections, fake elections, and we’ve had illegal elections,” Ms. Lake falsely claimed in a clip replayed on the CBS program.
Ms. Lake has established herself as Mr. Trump’s favorite in large part because of her stance on the election. Mr. Trump even told Arizona Republican US Senate candidate Blake Masters to go after Ms. Lake with his own electoral denialism.
Mr Brnovich, who finished a distant third behind Masters and Jim Lamon in the Republican Senate primary earlier this year, was unimpressed – calling the allegations of voter fraud “horses***”.
“It’s like a giant regret, in a way,” Mr. Brnovich said.
Mr. Brnovich is term-limited as attorney general and will leave office early next year. In the race to replace him is a Republican candidate, Abraham Hamadeh, who is also refusing to run for office. Polls showed a competitive race between Mr. Hamadeh and Democrat Kris Mayes, the Arizona Corporation Commissioner.
Ms. Lake, meanwhile, has become a slight favorite to defeat Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in the governor’s race. The election forecaster FiveThirtyEight gives Ms. Lake almost a two-in-three chance of becoming one of the most far-right governors in the country.
It’s a chilling prospect for democracy advocates, one that seems to have left Mr Brnovich deeply disappointed.
“We as prosecutors deal with facts and evidence, and I’m not like the clowns who throw things at the wall and see what sticks,” Mr. Brnovich said.