Democrat Katie Hobbs is projected to win the race for governor in Arizona, defeating high-profile Republican Kari Lake after a contentious and down-to-the-wire election.
NBC News and CNN both projected the race for Hobbs on Monday night.
The victory is the latest major win for Democrats in what has turned out to be a surprisingly good midterm election for the party. While the race was always seen as competitive, Lake came out slightly ahead of Hobbs in most recent polling. The Republican also got heavy media coverage in the final weeks of the election, while Hobbs was scrutinized for refusing to debate her rival.
It also represents an important victory for Republicans opposed to former President Trump. Several of them crossed the aisle to oppose Lake, a vocal ally of Trump.
Democrat Katie Hobbs has won her gubernatorial race in Arizona, marking an important win for both Democrats and Republicans opposed to former President Trump. (Associated Press)
Lake frequently echoed the former president’s unsubstantiated claims of election fraud throughout her campaign, securing Trump’s endorsement while also driving away the more traditional wing of the GOP.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a staunch Trump opponent, vocally criticized Lake, promising to “do everything I can to make sure that Kari Lake” doesn’t win. Several other Republicans campaigned with Hobbs as part of the “Republicans for Katie Hobbs Coalition.”
Although they didn’t support the Democrat, former Vice President Mike Pence and outgoing Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) also initially sought to counter Trump’s influence in the Grand Canyon State, endorsing Lake’s opponent Karrin Taylor Robson in the Republican primary in August. Robson ultimately lost to Lake by about 5 points.
As the race between Hobbs and Lake shaped up this fall, the Democratic candidate refused to participate in the “spectacle” of debating the Trump acolyte, who she referred to as a conspiracy theorist.